Contemporary dance in Nigeria was once grossly underlooked. For a long time, Nigerian dancers were unsung heroes in the entertainment industry- often sidelined with little or no acknowledgment in the grand scheme of things.
Thanks to the resilience, consistency, and sheer grit of certain pioneers like Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau, popularly known as ‘Kaffy‘, Nigerian dancers are now more respected, as the value of their craft is no longer deniable- although the journey to total relevance is still a long climb, Nigerian dancers are gracefully taking the needful strides.
Here are ten Nigerian dancers that are killing it and we want you to know them.
27- year-old Izzy Odigie is a thriving dancer and choreographer who has spent a good chunk of her life abroad. The Nigerian- American dancer started engaging in the craft at a very early age and has not looked back since. In addition to being a dancer, she is also an online personality and entrepreneur.
Izzy Odigie’s penchant for dance has led her to tour-wide and far as her reoccurring dance tour which is themed: P.A.P (Pan African Passport) has seen her connect with many dancers outside the country. Izzy takes pride in African dance and won’t stop till the world knows every busting move.
Anita Obidi, popularly known as Korra Obidi is a champion in her own right. The US-based star joggles dance, motherhood, and business all in one hand. She is one of the most flexible, and energetic performers in Nigeria today (just ask her millions of fans on Instagram). The dancer is one of the few that has capitalized on social media to express her craft.
Iweh Pascal Odinaka otherwise known as Poco Lee is one of the most talked about Nigerian dancers in the country. Poco Lee started his journey via street dance challenges in Lagos, now he is unarguably one of the most influential Afro dancers in the country. Poco Lee triumphs in street dance freestyles and indigenous pop anthems.
Softmadeit is a well-known dancer on the video streaming platform, Tik-Tok. The 26-year-old is a graduate of the prestigious Babcock University. Since he started sharing videos of himself dancing online in 2020, the dancer has grown to become one of the biggest dancers on the platform. Softmadeit thrills his ever-growing fan base with his interesting dance moves online.
Pinkie Debbie is an Afro-dancer, choreographer, tv show judge, and performer. The 28-year-old holds the Guinness world record for the longest dancing marathon by an individual with over 124 dance hours(more than 5 days dancing non-stop). She boasts of an impressive online following.
Sarah Olaniran also known as SayrahChips is a Nigerian dancer and entertainer. She began dancing at a very young age. The American-based hot-stepper is charismatic and versatile. She has opened for musicians such as Chris Brown, Wizkid, Mr.Eazi, Simi, and Tiwa Savage.
Delacyn who goes by the full name Nneka Irobunda is a Nigerian professional dancer, choreographer, and influencer based in the United States of America. She holds a degree in Psychology and dance. Decalyn’s curriculum vitae is rich- she has choreographed for artists like Sean Paul, Rema, Cardi B, and Missy Elliot. She is one of the most decorated Nigerian dancers.
Stephen Ojo, better Known as Papi Ojo is a talented dancer, athlete, and model. He is one of the few African dancers to have led a choreography routine with music royalty, Beyonce. Papi Ojo has been dancing since he was only just a boy, and his passions have led him to great heights including performing with Rihanna at the Grammys and being the lead dancer for Beyonce during the Lion King soundtrack visual rollout.
Girls Got Bold (GGB Crew)
GGB crew is a dance group that consists of members, Ifeoma Efiokwu(E4ma), Afije Roseline Omokho(Liquor Rose), and Odiley Emmanuella(Ellaley). The group started dancing together in 2012, appearing as Vixens in Music videos before rebranding into organized dance tutorials and challenges. GGB are regarded as some of the best dancers in the game.
Cocainna is a Nigerian dancer, choreographer, Influencer, and entrepreneur. She became known in 2020 when she began sharing videos of herself dancing on Tiktok. Cocainna’s dance moves are simple yet eccentric and have earned her a massive following online. The dancer has opened for ivy league artists like Wizkid, Rema, and Tiwa Savage.
In conclusion, dance is a very important aspect of Nigerian popular culture, and is increasingly getting the recognition it deserves- the advent of digital media has helped introduce a fresh generation of Nigerian dance superstars who are cautiously breaking the mold both at home and abroad, and overall, it is a beauty to behold.