Unraveling the origins of dances we consume daily on social media, a new documentary uncovers the contributions of Nigeria’s Afro Dance scene to mainstream pop culture. Featuring backstories and performances from established and upcoming artists,
Uncredited: The Story of Afro Dance is available now, only on Red Bull TV.
A new documentary reveals the Nigerian dance scene – and the often-unrecognised talent behind it – which has made a profound impact on the global performing industry. Superstars of music and pop culture appear in the production, which follows astonishing Nigerian dancers as yet unknown to the mainstream public as they chase their dreams for a chance to change their lives and their communities.
Uncredited: The Story of Afro Dance is available beginning December 6, 2022, only on Red Bull TV.
Uncredited deep-dives into the intricacies of Afro dance, its heritage and how it has affected African culture and the performing arts globally – from street dance to pop charts. As artists from Beyoncé to Justin Bieber incorporate African-inspired dance movement into their videos, dancer Iziegebe Odigie describes Lagos, Nigeria as the hub of Afro Beat. “This is like New York City or L.A.,” she says, “especially with the new wave of Afro Dance that’s starting to catch wildfire on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube.”
The acknowledged ‘queen’ of Nigerian dance, dancer and choreographer Kafayat ‘Kaffy’ Shafau, agrees and comments, “If you look at African culture… that is so powerful. Some of the moves that are going viral now, if you break them down to the core, it’s coming from our traditional movement.”
Yet experts interviewed in the documentary point out that while the work of Afro Dance innovators has greatly contributed to the success of music hits on the African continent and beyond, the dance originators have often gone unknown. These insiders see social media as an opportunity for dancers to secure that recognition; and for many of the artists in
Uncredited, the stakes are high.
Dancer Seyi Oluyole has founded a residential academy for orphaned and indigent girls, and as the video shows, social media posts of her students’ dancing drew a visit from supermodel Naomi Campbell. The struggle to keep the facility running continues, but Seyi is undaunted, saying, “I don’t need you to open the door for me. I’m just going to break the wall and make my own door and let other people in.”
Looking to the future, the documentary follows dancers to the national finals of the Red Bull Dance Your Style contest, which spotlights the next generation of street dancers. Among them, there’s Chibueze Blayke, who had nearly given up on a dance career, as well as his brilliant student BJ Miah and dancer Eromose-Ordia Tom-Tom – part of Nigeria’s viral Westsyde Lifestyle dance crew. When Blayke and BJ make the deciding round, they must battle each other in the performance of their lives. Blayke’s eventual win sees him preparing to take the global stage at the competition’s World Final in South Africa, which will take place in conjunction with The release of the documentary.
Amongst the Red Bull Dance Your Style World Finalists include David “The Crown” Staler, a Liberian-Korean, Minneapolis born and raised, self-taught dancer. Although a dancer his whole life, David began to take his craft seriously in 2012, teaching himself the styles of hip-hop, animation, breaking, popping, locking, house, and more. His dedication and skill has landed him work with artists such as G-Eazy, Lil Jon, Skee-Lo and more. In addition to dance, David is also an actor, model, poet, DJ and ukulele player.
“I’m so happy when opportunities like this arrive,” says Kaffy. “These young people are underserved with platforms, and that’s what it is – it’s just the beginning of unraveling greatness.”
Uncredited: The Story of Afro Dance is available to watch on demand, only on Red Bull TV.
The Red Bull Dance Your Style World Final will stream live from Johannesburg on TikTok on Saturday, December 10, 2022.