Dancers stretch creative license - Mixed views comes from the industry about Walk Like a Dog move

Published: Sunday | December 29, 2013 Comments 0
Dancer Mad Michelle (first lady of the party and Toddler's girlfriend) stops for a minute to face the camera. Harry Toddler Birthday Bash, Rebel T Headquarters, on Saturday, July 12, 2008. - Nathaniel Stewart/Freelance Photographer
Dancer Mad Michelle (first lady of the party and Toddler's girlfriend) stops for a minute to face the camera. Harry Toddler Birthday Bash, Rebel T Headquarters, on Saturday, July 12, 2008. - Nathaniel Stewart/Freelance Photographer
Latesha, 2004 Dancehall Queen, excites a crowd with her dance moves. - Contributed
Latesha, 2004 Dancehall Queen, excites a crowd with her dance moves. - Contributed

Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer

Some of dancehall's dancers are calling the negative backlash created from what could be considered the genre's latest craze an overreaction.  The backlash came from the growing power of social media, where many chose to vent their anger at the creation of a dance called the Walk Like A Dog and Cock Up and Piss.

Still, there are some dancers calling the dance and its title too graphic.

While there exists other strange dance names like the Mosquito Mesh, Drop Dead, Donkey Kick, Wounded Dog, Dutty Wine, among others, the reaction to the Walk Like A Dog and Cock Up and Piss has no comparison.

Popular dancer Mad Michelle believes a bold name for a dance better helps to describe the action of the dance, as well as pulls attention to it.

Build interest

According to the dancer, things and times have changed and dancehall fans need to get with the time.

"I think names are one of the things which make dances interesting, because dances with unique names build interest. It's a disadvantage when a name turns people away from doing the dance move, but at the end of the day, a dance move must represent the dance while at the same time being unique," she continued.

"If I have a dance move called Jerky the move must represent that, even Mosquito Net represents the dance, and so does One Drop/Trapsetta," the dancer said.

Mad Michelle says persons who don't like the Walk Like A Dog and Cock Up and Piss dance move are taking it too literally.

She believes it's more humour than anything else, and disclosed that the dance moves were getting favourable attention at dances.

"I have danced the Walk Like A Dog and Cock Up and Piss dance move before, and to me it has a little drama and a little sexiness. As a dancer, there are some dance moves which I will not do, but just to see some of these new dance moves is enjoyable. I think some people are overreacting about the dance move, but we are dancers and this is what we do to make a living, dancehall has changed. We are never going to go back to ska so some people must just learn to adapt and enjoy changes," Mad Michelle said.

Fellow female dancer Queen Latesha had a slightly different view. She believes while an outlandish dance name might pull attention to the dance, it can also damage its capacity for longevity.

She says Bogle's Nuh Linga dance move was simple and withstood the test of time.

She believes dancers should do more research into dancehall culture before making decisions which can have long-lasting implications on the culture of dancing in Jamaica.

"If you make a terrible dance name, people might not want to do the dance move because they don't like the name. If the name is not good, the dance will have a little buzz but will not last ... I could not teach the Walk Like A Dog and Cock Up and Piss dance move to a three-year-old," she said.

Queen Latesha is gearing up to host her annual birthday party on January 3, 2014, at 22 Barbican Road, next to Village Café.

Mad Michelle is promoting her weekly party called Yard Wednesdays. She is also gearing up to release a new song featuring a Trinidadian artiste.

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