Apr 23, 2014
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Dance

World Dance: Tavia and Tamara’s Do Sumn’ Weekend Intensive

Words by Emily Shapiro

tavia-and-tamara-bruk-wine

Dancehall’s unique dancing culture still breathes in clubs and bashments everywhere, with party steps being developed on what seems like a weekly basis. But some might argue that the scene has lost some of the flavor from the days of Mr. Bogle and the Wacky Dip.

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We Dance Reggae: Get To Know Blacka Di Danca

Words by Emily Shapiro—

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If you don’t know Blacka di Danca, it’s about time you did. Not only is he a touring dancer with New Kingston and Collie Buddz, but a young, talented and incredibly positive dude who brings fiyah to any dance floor he touches.

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Gyal a Jiggle: Watch a Dancehall Queen-Inspired Finnish Short Film

Words by Emily Shapiro—

GRIND on Vimeo

There is no question that when your average person thinks of dancehall, they think sex, whether it’s Skerrit Bwoy in his daggering days or pumpum short-clad women from Sean Paul or Beenie Man’s classic videos. The “Dancehall Queen,” in the eyes of most, is a one-dimensional image involving skin and booty popping. Of course, we at Large Up and you, our well-informed readers, know that to dance like the women we see in videos and on stage, you have to be athletic and disciplined. Head topping is not an amateur skill one learns overnight, and ticking your waistline with precision can take years of practice.

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Interpretive Dancehall: Puma Dance Dictionary x Dre Skull x Popcaan

mikpakrecordspumadictionaryFirstTimeofficialmusicvideo2013

In dancehall, there is a dance for pretty much every word, action and emotion in existence. You’ve got “difficult,” “sufferer,” “confused,” even “shovel.” One could probably speak in full sentences using only party dances. Puma has launched a creative ad campaign for their Sync fragrance line called “Dance Dictionary” that is something like that, minus the Jamaican party dances. You can visit their website, www.pumadancedictionary.com, to see how folks like Dancehall Funk instructor (and choreographer of French Montana ‘s “Freaks” video) Dionne Renee and Brooklyn flexer Storyboard P use popping, waving, gliding, twerking and the like to communicate a variety of messages.

And they haven’t stopped at simple phrases. Puma has collaborated with Mixpak Records to bring us a super dope interpretation of producer Dre Skull‘s new single “First Time” featuring the entrancing vocals of Purity Ring’s Megan James and Popcaan. The song is not your typical dancehall track so it’s fitting that, in the video, the dancers (including Ms. Renee and Storyboard P) are fully clothed and keep their legs firmly planted on the ground. We think the collaboration is a good look for all and it’s got us thinking about some other songs we’d like to see put through the dictionary. Check out the video below:

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Bruk-Up Cinema: “Flex is Kings” Documents Brooklyn’s Caribbean-Inspired Dance Movement

Words by Emily Shapiro—

Photograph by Deidre Schoo

If you’ve been to a dancehall party in Brooklyn over the past 10 years (or a Rice and Peas), you’ve seen a flexor. They can contort their bodies in unnatural ways, glide and wave their limbs with insane fluidity, and generally put on a good show at any bashment they attend.

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Socanomics: Wine Yuh Waist with Miss Black USA

Words by Emily Shapiro—

selena-watkins

Large Up friend and supporter Selena Bailey Watkins has a lot going on. The smart and beautiful Watkins, whose parents both hail from Antigua, is the reigning Miss Black USA, and the first Antiguan-American to hold that title. She’s been repping her role hard in 2013, speaking to young women all over about empowerment and following their dreams, while representing her West Indian culture as well.

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