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Dance of death? - Beacon Hill residents blame 'Dutty Wine' for teen's death
published: Monday | October 30, 2006

Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer

A dancer in The Star's Dutty Wine contest performs at The Asylum Night Club, Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston, in July. - file

SPANISH TOWN, St. Catherine:

The popular "Dutty Wine" dance is being blamed for yesterday's death of an 18-year-old St. Catherine woman.

Tanisha Henry was attending a 'school uniform' party at Beacon Hill, Thompson Pen, about four o' clock Sunday morning when, while doing the popular dance, she collapsed and was rushed to the nearby Spanish Town Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

When The Gleaner checked with the institution, a representative said persons have for some time been warned of the dangers associated with the dance, but that no one seems to have taken heed.

In March, The Star reported warnings from doctors that the 'Dutty Wine' was a dangerous dance that could cause serious neck injury and lifelong pain.

Residents in shock

The dance, done mainly by women, involves the rapid rotation of the neck and posterior simultaneously.

"If you throw the body in extreme positions, as in the case of the 'Dutty Wine', you could have muscle trauma, damage to your ligaments and shifting in bones," Dr. Jephthath Ford, general practitioner, told The Star.

In the Beacon Hill area, where yesterday's incident occurred, several persons said they were shocked by what had happened.

"It is a warning to young people that dem mus stop du de Dutty Wine," said one woman who called the incident a curse on the land. "Is like a demon sen' from de pit a hell dat is taking the lives of the youth even before dem have time to repent."

Yesterday Tanisha's mother, Linda Henry, said she was still in shock.

"I was at home about 4 o'clock when I feel like something is wrong with Tanisha as I did not see her when she came from work last night," she said. "About half an hour after, I got the news that she was dancing Dutty Wine and collapse."

Ms. Henry said that, on going to the hospital, her worst fear was realised when the doctor told her that her daughter was dead as a result of the dance. She added that it was a very sad moment and that Tanisha, who works at a pharmacy, was her last child. She said she did not know how the family would cope with her death.

The Spanish Town police are conducting a routine investigation into the matter.

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