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Explore Africa

Top 10 African Dance Styles

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Dance and entertainment are top on the list of Africa’s export at the moment. African dance styles are infectious and addictive. Some portray humor and bring smiles to people’s faces. Therefore, it is not surprising that African dance steps quickly spread all over the world. Today, we want to brighten your mood with a list of the top 10 African dance styles. At the end of it all, feel free to let us know your favorite.  

It is essential to mention that none of these dance styles are better than the other. It is simply a matter of taste and mood. Therefore, number one is not better than number ten. Without further chitchats, here is our list.

#1. Wakanda/Black Panthers Dance.

Don’t rack your brain, you did not miss it in the Black Panther movie. However, the Wakanda dance was inspired by the movie. The movie features an African setting on a fictitious African Kingdom fighting to preserve their technology. The dance move was started unofficially by movie fans and spread quickly. God bless Chadwick Boseman for the sweet memories.

#2. Azonto Dance

Azonto dance traces its origins from Ghana—and it goes a long way back. This African dance style is credited to the Ga ethnic group in Ghana. The dance came to the limelight in 2011 after the release of Sakordie’s song ‘U Go Kill Me’. It was further popularized by the song ‘Azonto’ by Fuse ODG featuring Tiffany. This dance move easily blends with different song genres—it is that versatile. However, there is a catch; you need to dance it properly.

#3. Gwara Gwara Dance

Gwara Gwara Dance stems from South Africa hit song ‘Ofana Nawe’ by DJ Bongz. The dance moves cross borders to become one of the famous dance moves in the US and UK. A generic search on YouTube today will reveal hundreds of gwara gwara dance tutorials. So, you simply do not have enough excuse not to learn this one. Note; you may not get it right the first, second, third, or fourth time. However, the moment you perfect it, it kind of possesses your soul.

#4. Odi Dance

Odi dance is from Kenya. It is often credited to artists namely Timeless Noel, Jabidii and Hype Ochi. The word “Odi” is a slang for “ordinary”. The dance has been most popular among teens. This African dance style is infectious and it will not take long for you to fall in love with it. Tell us what you think is this dance step in the comment box below.

#5. Shoki Dance

This is one of the African dance styles that will have you rolling on the floor. Shoki Dance is said to have originated from Nigerian artists Orezi and Lil Kesh. The dance involves dipping low and rising making hands movements to the tune. It almost feels the person is trying to slap you but ends up cleaning their eye. You can’t help but wonder what the dancer’s intentions is.

#6. Shaku shaku Dance

Nigeria is mostly at the center of many dance styles. Shaku shaku dance finds its origins on the street of Nigeria. Olamide used the dance style for his hit song “wo” and in a short while, YouTube was filled to videos of artists doing Shaku Shaku dance. It is almost a household dance step in the country. However, beyond the borders of Africa it is a strong contender.

#7. Coupé-décalé Dance

Coupé-décalé is a popular dance that started in Côte d’Ivoire. The dance name comes from Coupé which means “to cheat” and “décalé” which means “to run away”. Thus, it literally means “to cut and run away”. The dance borrows heavily from Ndombolo and Zouglou. Mind you, this African dance style is not for the weak. You need lots of energy all the way through.

#8. Jerusaluma Dance

Jerusaluma Dance went viral in Africa and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous organizations have created their video on Jerusaluma Dance Challenge. The dance move is said to have been first recorded in Angola. The dance is credited to Kgaogelo Moagi, South African musician. The most interesting feature of this dance is it’s free-spirit. You can even pull it off with a plate of food in one hand.

#9. Ndombolo

Ndombolo is a dance move that originates from DR Congo. It is commonly used in Central and East Africa. The dance move involves movements of waist and legs to the beat. Artist from DRC Congo like Koffi Olomide and Awilo Longomba are some of the musicians who are known to use the dance moves. Once you get it right, you will be the center of attraction.

#10. Idibala Malwedhe Dance

This African dance style is popular as a “fainting” dance. King Monada inspired this dance style through his hit song ‘Malwedhe’. The dance see fans fall to the ground at the chorus. The Chorus has the words “I have an illness of fainting”. However, one simple piece of advice from us to you; make sure you are falling on a safe ground. We don’t want you to sustain injuries.

Conclusion

African musicians are highly innovative. Most artists don’t just release hit tracks, rather, they back it up with a dance step. If you admire any of the dance steps, just find and follow the right YouTube channels to learn the, By the way, how many of the African dance styles on our list can you confidently pull off? Let us know in the comment box below.

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