Do you know how to Zanku? Or shaku shaku?
Well, afrobeat musicians love their unique dance steps almost as much as their unique music. Afrobeats makes you want to jump on your feet and start to move. It is fast paced and very rhythmic.
When you hear certain songs, certain dance steps come to mind and together, they create a certain artistic vibe.
Today, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and remember some of the most epic dance steps to rock the Nigerian afrobeats scene.
Till this day, when ever I hear that song, my first instinct is to throw two fingers in the air and start to circle my head with them. Released in 2007, Yahooze was one of the first songs to have a dance step accompanying its name. Olu Maintain in a glamorous video dropped the killer dance steps that had everyone shaking to the groove.
This particular step was a madness. “Open your arms like say you wan fly away” was part of the lyrics to this song released by Artkwake duo in 2007. Everywhere you turned, young people were flailing their arms around wildly while attempting to put out the fire burning in their bellies. Good times
The Etighi dance is a cultural dance of Akwa Ibom origin. It involves stamping your foot on the ground while moving your waist to the sound of music. When Iyanya released Kukere in 2012, he popularised the dance step and everyone was shaking their hips. Iyanya successfully gave a new feel to an ancient cultural dance.
Originally a Ghanaian dance, Azonto was introduced to Nigeria in 2013 by Wizkid. It involved shuffling your feet and lifting your hands up at the right timing. The dance was very “swagey” at the time and made appearances in secondary school choreographed dances and every popping party in town.
Pioneered by OBO himself, this dance was such a big deal, especially following the 3000 dollar prize money announced for the best Skelewu dancer. Various individuals and dance groups flooded social media with videos of them doing the dance.
The steps involve putting one hand on your chest and another behind you back whilst shuffling from one side to the other. I could never get my legs and hands to cooperate and do this dance.
Also known as snake dance, was invented by Lil Kesh and Orezi. In 2014, Lil Kesh released a song of the same title where the dance step which involved quick dipping low and hand motions was showcased. The dance looks like a karate move, almost like the ‘snake in the monkey shadow’ move.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the real originator of this dance, but it was made popular by the 2015 song Bobo by Olamide. The dance involves lifting one leg and doing shoulder movements. Very stress free dance in my opinion.
Honorary mention is the Galala and Suo of Agege origin made popular by Daddy Showkey and the Danfo Drivers.
I’m proud to say my Galala skills are unmatched, at least that’s one dance I can do. The moves had a reggae tempo to them and involves you holding your body stiff, often in a half squat while making quick movements.