Earlier this year members of Jamaica’s Dancehall dance community had began strategising the best ways forward in combating existing and new challenges including; intellectual property protection; better work compensation; negative stereotypes and practices.
Out of these discussions Maria A. Hitchins and Latonya Style decided to partner through their entities Dancers of Jamaica and DanceJA Movement respectively, to re-energise the celebration of Dancehall’s dance culture. They independently organised the first annual International Dancehall Championships- crowning a dance King & Queen, on Friday, August 9th at 22 Barbican Road, Liguanea, Kingston 6.
Sadly Gerald ‘Bogle’ Levy though the genre’s most iconic male figure was never crowned ‘king’ while alive, as such they made amends by ensuring that such a deserved title does not remain elusive. Instead the best in the world among the male dancers will compete annually. The female dancers are just as important and in an effort elevate their value by making it very clear that this is not about acrobatics and stage antics, they too got the chance to “buss di stage” with actual dance moves, in order to impress the judges on the night. Certainly they showcased head-stands and splits but that was not presented for their entire 2 minute routine. The International Dancehall Championships is about reclaiming/bringing back the ‘dance’/dancing in Dancehall. Jamaica’s extensive dance heritage was on display from the ‘tattie’ to the ‘one drop’ dance.
I.D.C. 2013 was open to all nationalities, in fact Jamaicans as well as overseas participants from France, Sweden, Greece, Russia, USA and Japan competed. Each entrant did a 2 minute performance to their own music mix after which, based on the jud
ges scores a top 5 was selected for the males and a top 3 for the females (queen title had less entries). The finalists did two 45 sec freestyle performances to random selections from DJ Enzo. First they got Dancehall music from the ‘ole skool’ era (80’s/90’s) so as to test their versatility and then present day music. They were also asked questions about Dancehall’s culture (fashion, music, personalities etc) to test their knowledge and awareness.
Judges: Tamara, Neila and Tippa
Emcee: Simone Chucka
Guest Performers: Angel Smith, John Bling, Elite Team, Blackout Crew from Sweden and Stephanie who sang the National Anthem.
Music & Lights: Blak Adiktion Musik
Banner: Laddy Mack (SMP)
For more information about INTERNATIONAL DANCEHALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
CALL: (876) 844-3353 or 414-3627
WINNERS (DANCEHALL KING & QUEEN)
2RD PLACE (DANCEHALL CHAMPIONS)
3RD PLACE (DANCEHALL CHAMPIONS)