Timeline of Nigerian Dance

Timeline of Nigerian Dance

Nigerian dance, like other forms of arts, plays a very important role in society. Dance can be applied in a whole lot of ways. It can be a form of entertainment, communication, expression, education, and therapy.

Nigerian dance trends have evolved since we were colonized.

Here’s an outline of the evolution of dance trends in Nigeria from the ‘90s to date:

Somewhere between the ’70s and ’80s, the revolutionary hip-hop movement found its way to Nigeria, and so did breakdance. It spread like wildfire among Nigeria’s very susceptible youth.

The ’90s introduced a dance evolution that veered more towards our native roots. Makossa which literally translates to “dance” was championed by Congolese artists like Awilo Longoba and Koffi Olomide. At that time, they were touring the continent to promote their hit song, so it quickly caught on wherever they went. And of course, Nigeria was no exception.

This is the first dance trend in Nigeria that was native to us since the invasion of the colonizers. It was a dance that originated in the streets of Ajegunle but it became popular due to the exposure from artists like Ras Kimono, Daddy Showkey, and Blacky.

Suo successfully succeeded the Galala trend as a corresponding dance move to Marvelous Benji’s massive hit of the same name, “Suo”. The eccentric duo Mad Melon and Mountain Black, popularly known as Danfo Drivers, also influenced the popularity of the dance by featuring it frequently in their lyrics at that time.

In 2008, Olu Maintain launched his single “Yahooze”. This dance move was really popular because of how simple it was (honestly, we wish all dance steps could be that simple, lol).

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Azonto took the entire continent of Africa by Storm. Many kids and adults upload videos of themselves recreating the dance steps on social media.

Introduced by Iyanya, this dance step was featured in one of his tracks titled “Kukere”. You all remember how you would jump up when you hear “all my ladies”? Good old days!

This dance trend was introduced by the one and only OBO aka Davida. While you might say it did not have as much of an impact in Nigeria as most of its counterparts, it was a huge hit with Davido’s foreign fanbase.

This is yet another Nigerian street dance by Lil Kesh. This particular dance was one of the biggest Nigerian dance trends to ever sweep through the country and the good thing is that it is still popular now.

Shakiti Bobo
A dance trend made popular by Olamide. This dance step became a sensation that spread throughout Lagos with many celebrities showcasing their own styles of it.

Shaku Shaku
Slimcase, Mr Real, and Idowest are the artists guilty of making this dance step a rave. With major club bangers like “Shepeteri” and “Legbegbe”, people were immediately hyped about Shaku shaku.

Zlatan is the founder of this dance. Did you know that the full meaning of Zanku is “Zlatan Abeg No Kill Us”? It is a pretty complex energetic dance step that requires ‘goooood’ legwork. It is not for the faint-hearted at all!

This dance step is even more complicated than Zanku. Naira Marley, the “Marlian King” introduced this one. The ‘Marlian’ fan base quickly picked up the dance and a lot of them shared videos of themselves attempting the challenge on social media.

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