Do You Wanna Dance?
The Ghanaian dance craze that has gone world-wide
Photo : Kirsty Telfer
Dance is an important part of Ghanaian culture and a way of expressing one’s self. For instance, people dance at festivals to entertain people and to project their cultural values through dancing. People also dance at home, in the street and at school. Dancing is part of a Ghanaians life from an early age and can be enjoyed by the whole family. It is very unusual to meet a Ghanaian who doesn’t know how to dance or who doesn’t enjoy dancing.
In Ghana, we have many types of dances that go with different music. We have traditional dances and non-traditional dances. Salsa and rock and roll dancing are very popular with young people and are a lot of fun. There are also dozens of traditional dances which are performed at festivals or a ceremony. The people of the Volta region of Ghana are known for dancing Borborbo, those of the Greater Accra region, Gome, and the Ashanti region is known for a dance called Adowu.
But now the new dance that is making waves both locally and internationally is called Azonto. This is done by throwing your fist into the air whilst moving your body. It is danced to the tune of hiplife music. It is believed to have first been danced in Kaneshie, a suburb of Accra. It has now gone all over Ghana and even tiny children can do some Azonto moves! It is loved by both children and adults because it is so much fun and creates many laughs. Azonto is a very creative dance and anyone, no matter how young or old, can do it.
It would be very difficult for a foreigner to visit Ghana without learning a few dancing steps. Everywhere you go you will see someone dancing somewhere! There is always music playing in Ghana and people will always ask you to dance.
You should see a Ghanaian dancing Azonto; you will feel yourself dancing even though you are seated. It’s such a wonderful sight and is something that is making Ghanaians feel very proud. Now that it has gone world-wide, people from all walks of life try to dance it! But oh my God! You should see a white person trying to dance Azonto; you will fall to the ground in laughter! Dancing is nice because it has allowed Ghana to be recognised all around the world as a nation with a famous dance.