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Dance As An Instrument To Preserve Our Cultural Heritage

In a time long forgotten by many African millennials, dance was more than just moving your body rhythmically to a beat, or finding out who had the best moves ‘in the game’.

Dance was (is) a core part of the African tradition. It is one of the things that separates us from the rest of the world.

Our history books are replete with stories of times when our ancestors used dance as a means to foster their traditional beliefs, or celebrate the birth of a child, a wedding or a funeral. This form of art embodies our cultural heritage as a people.

Alongside technological advancements and other new age necessaries, dance has also evolved and has found expression in different indigenous prance patterns.

However, it would seem we are losing the old in the new, and with it, our cultural heritage.

The Dance Workshop and Conference 2019

Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau, popularly known as Kaffy, believes that the Nigerian dance industry can create a balance between adding new trends and preserving our cultural heritage.

The dance business in Nigeria has over the years morphed into one of the country’s biggest entertainment sectors, but like other branches of the showbiz industry, dance practitioners ceaselessly strive to stay relevant.

Now what happens when age sets in or you lose your popularity as a dancer?

There is a glaring need for dance practitioners to understand that in other to remain relevant, the dancer must evolve him/herself.

The moment your talent is giving you money it has become a business. However, don’t say because someone is paying you straight to your hand means that you’re going to continue to operate like that for the rest of your life.

What happens to you once you’re not trending anymore? What happens when you’re no more popular? If you create a system for yourself, it is not about popularity now, it’s about who is giving the best service. I have evolved myself and transferred myself into other things that keeps me functional [in the dance industry].

— Kaffy

The Dance Workshop and Conference 2019 is designed to train and educate dancers about how to build themselves as brands of contemporary interests, even in the years to come.

The four-day conference will kickoff on June 2, 2019, and run through June 5, 2019.

The entire conference is divided into four major sessions, and for the first time there will be a dance trade fair, where individuals/companies that render dance-related services will come out to showcase their products. These include sportswear companies, footwear companies, healthcare providers, chiropractors, physiotherapists, insurance companies, cinematographers, and a host of others.

There will also be a workshop for dancers and other interested persons.

In the third session, dance creatives and individuals/companies who employ their services will have a town hall meeting, where both parties will air their grievances and find a lasting solution to the issue of dance as an underappreciated form of art.

Finally, there will be a corporate dinner where Kaffy is expected to officially launch her businesses, and also award individuals who have contributed immensely to the dance industry in the past two decades.

Amongst the speakers expected to grace the event are,

  • Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife;
  • Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heir Holdings, United Bank For Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation;
  • Jim Ovia, Founder of Zenith Bank;
  • Frank Gatson Jr., American director and award winning choreographer.

Other international choreographers and artistes from Nigeria, South Africa and India are also expected to be at the event.

Featured image source: Premium Times Nigeria

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This article was first published on 15th April 2019


Achem Samuel is a writer and a musician, he is passionate about God and also an ardent fan of tech, sports and music.

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