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DANCE HALL OF FAME #throwbackthursday

 Dance is a medium of performing art that encompasses series of sequential movements of parts of the body. These movements have metaphorical purposes has they explain the accompanying music or the dancer’s feelings. For some folks, it is a form of therapy, a healing balm, a form of help to troubled and disheveled minds and hearts.

In Western Africa, Nigeria has proven to be the center of the dance revolution as  most artistes are known for frequently churning out dance steps and moves to match their high-tempo songs.

Here is a breakdown of top dance steps in Nigeria since 2000


The word Makossa is from the Cameroon Douala language meaning dance. It is from Congo and has a Congolese song with the same name. The dance was made popular by Awilo Longomba and Koffi Olomide who enjoyed massive success for their inputs, especially in Nigeria. Nigerians were quick to adapt the dance step which entails movement of the legs curved sideways back and front.


This dance was highly associated with the ghetto to the point that it became the official dance of every ghetto community. For the older people, this dance will be best remembered as being brought into the limelight by Rasta man, Daddy Showkey.

  • SUO

This dance, involving the lowering of the waist and stretching of the hand like one is about to put on a generator, originated from Marvelous Benji in the song titled Suo and it was promoted by the Danfo Drivers (Mountain Black and Mad Melon ). The dance was an offspring of the former, Galala. It began from the Ajegunle area of Lagos and soon moved to other parts of the nation.


The dance involved a movement of the hands with two fingers moved up while the other fingers stay folded and the hand moved slowly from the shoulder while the feet remained stationary or merely tapping the floor.


It was a dance that one did raising one’s hand over the stomach and chest as if one is on fire with varied faces as if one was burning or in pain. The legs also followed in the movement. The dance was made popular by the likes of Terry G, Timaya and the group, Artquake in their song Alanta.


It was originally a Ghanaian dance but Nigerians made it popular, especially after the Starboy crooner, Wizkid did a hit song titled ‘Azonto’. The dance is still one of the country’s favorite as it remains evergreen. It involved moving from left to right with the use of the hands and the legs.


The dance has its root in the Cross River state of the nation. It was made popular by Inyanya in his song Kukere. It involved bending forward, raising the legs and shaking the waist.


The dance was introduced by the OBO,  Davido in his hit song, Skelewu. It gained prominence immediately and was on numerous chats for many weeks. It required putting one hand on the waist or stomach and one hand in the air likened to holding a steering and moving the shoulders.


Shoki, is unarguably one of the biggest dances to hit the Nigerian streets. This dance literally stole the day. It was a hit. Everyone danced it, from politicians to business moguls to those on the street. Shoki was expressive dance. It had bubbled underground in Lagos for a year before  rapper Lil Kesh and Orezi promoted the dance in their respective songs titled Shoki. Shoki was and is still the dance of the people.


 It bore a resemblance to the legendary Michael Jackson’s ‘Moon walk’ which was on its own quite a difficult dance move.  It was exemplified in the song, Sekem by Mc Galaxy who doubles as the proprietor of the dance. It requires putting one hand on the waist and one on the chest with slight staggering to the left or right.


The dance which involved standing on one leg with the other slightly raised up while the hands moved up and down was introduced by the acclaimed Voice of the street, Olamide in his song, Bobo.


It is doubtful that there is anyone who doesn’t know this dance. It is currently the trending dance step and although credit always goes to Olamide as the pioneer of the dance in his song ‘Science student’. However, the major promoters of the dance are Idowest and Slimcase in their songs ‘Shepeteri’ and ‘Legbegbe’.


This is a footwork dance that was brought to the big screen by musician, Zlatan Ibile. It is assumed that Zanku is an acronym for Zlatan Abeg No Kill Us. This dance has achieved popularity within and outside Nigeria. It is the soft/heavy taps of the feet on the floor synchronized to the beat of the song.

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