What makes a great part of Nigerian culture? What dances are the most widespread? Read and learn about well-known popular and traditional steps.
Nigeria is a country with great history and traditions. People there have their own special culture. One of the most important parts of their life is dancing. There is even a saying, which claims that every Nigerian can dance. They strongly believe that dance is something you have been born with and not the thing you may learn.
According to the broad classification, all dances here might be divided into two main groups:
• Traditional: they include all the possible steps and moves, which were given by the ancestors. They are also different in various tribes, as each of them possesses its own culture.
• Contemporary: the world is changing and people follow modern waves. People in nightclubs and at parties always prefer contemporary steps. They are usually a mixture of western moves and traditional dances.
The most well known traditional Nigerian dance moves are as follows:
1. War dance or Ikpirikpi-ogu. As you can guess from its name, this is a dance of warriors. It used to be performed by the people of Abam, who welcomed the soldiers coming home. Only men could dance Ikpirikpi-ogu in the past. Today this is just a symbol of strength and might be used during any kind of festivals.
2. Maiden dance or Nkwa umu-Agbogho. It has come from the culture of Igbo tribe. Women used it to attract males. The step involved the chest and waist movements. Only girls, who reached the age of marriage, were allowed to perform it. Nowadays it has become a type of entertainment.
3. Acrobatic dance or Atilogwu. The name says for itself. Lots of quick movements and calisthenics are required for this step. It resembles contemporary cheerleaders’ performances. This move is mostly performed by young people during festivals and ceremonies to entertain the public.
4. Masquerades or Mmanwu. It has also come from Igbo tribe. According to the legend, deity spirits possessed the person wearing masquerade. This dance is used across all the land of Igbo. It is still popular during the carnivals and funerals. The performance is very vibrant.
5. Omuru-onwa and Agbacha-ekuru-nwa. Opposed to Nkwa umu-Agbogho, this dance is performed only by married ladies. The movements are fast and responsive. The purpose of it was to keep fit or to lose weight after pregnancy.
Popular Nigerian dance styles
Along with traditional steps, there are lots of modern dances, which are adored by the younger generation of Nigeria.
Let’s look at the most famous of them:
1. Azonto. It appeared not long time ago. The world started to be crazy about it only in 2011. It originally came from Ghana. But Nigerian dancers loved it because of Wizkid. This step is extremely expressive. There are several basic moves and plenty of miming actions in it. Everything is aimed at amusing the audience.
2. Skelewu. It has become popular because of several videos by Davido. However, there are critics, who say it resembles Gbetiti dance too much.
READ ALSO: What is the best dance move Makkosa, Galala, Alanta or Etighi?
3. Shoki. It is one of the most adorable dances in the country. It is impossible to say, who is a real creator of the step.
4. Etighi. It came from Akwa Ibom part of the country. The move involved hips. Sometimes it is fused with Azonto. Iyanya was the one, who has initiated the dance. Other celebrities also release videos with this step, making it even more famous.
5. Shakiti Bobo. The founder is a well-known Olamide. He released the song, which turned to be so popular that the dance with the same title appeared.
To understand the soul of Nigeria you should try at least one of those dances. Immerge into the amazing culture of these talented people with the help of ingenious steps!
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