Words by Blacka Di Danca, Photo by Enrico Miglietta—
Not everyone can make it out to a dance class. Some people need a babysitter, some people are too nervous to dance in front of others, some work too many hours a day, and some just don’t have the money for it. So I decided to teach online… for FREE!
I started uploading YouTube videos in 2010 for fun; I had no idea that it would jumpstart my unforeseen career. I always loved dancing and I danced all the time in parties all around New York City. When I started uploading videos, my sole purpose was to just put footage online for my own recollection. In late 2010, I uploaded my first dancehall class that I taught in Manhattan. About a year later, I received an email from a woman in Moscow named Anna. I was touring with Collie Buddz at the time, and she asked me if I’d like to start teaching classes in Moscow on Christmas Day. I didn’t believe her at first, but when I got a round-trip plane ticket to Moscow the next day, I had no choice but to believe her. When I got to Moscow, I realized that everyone knew me there already because they were studying my non-verbal dance videos for the past year.
YouTube took me to international notice before I even dreamed of flying around the world. It was the tool that allowed Russians in 2011 to take notice of my dancing, just as it’s been the tool for dancers from Jamaica and all over the world to spread their moves globally. Russians couldn’t get to America for a dance class with me — so they learned what they could online. Since that first class in Russia in 2011, I’ve been teaching in 17 countries internationally yearly, and that is mainly because of the Internet. Not everyone can afford a metro card or plane ticket to get to their dance class of preference, so now I’ve created the platform for ANYONE to take my dancehall class, free of charge.
I’m always excited to launch something new and innovative and I’m anxious to see how people will take to it! I won’t stop teaching Fridays in Manhattan, but this is just another way to learn and remember steps! So, if you want to learn how to dance dancehall online just tune in every Wednesday to my YouTube channel and subscribe to join the free class. Hopefully this can get bigger and maybe one day get to network TV! Until then, I’ll be dancing on your laptop or smartphone!