Who would have thought that dancing alone could be an art worth appreciating in the country let alone attracting interest from event organisers?
Who would have thought there would be dancing groups on the ground that could perform and entertain the audience to the fullest?
But all that is happening now with a platform for dancing created.
These days event organisers are all over seeking services of dancing groups to light up their different activities.
Before now, dancing was an art which was not taken seriously and it was only there to add colour to live performances.
For those who have no idea what a dance is all about – this is a performance art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement.
This movement has to be acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture.
And in the country now things have taken a new dimension as dancing as an art form can stand on it’s on and thanks to companies like Times Group through Times Television which have helped grow this talent through the Ka Jive Dance competition.
Running under the slogan Tivine Zimenezi, the Ka Jive Dance competition started last year only taking place in Blantyre.
This was a testing phase for the company but things turned out to be great with youths responding to the call and participated in large numbers in the event.
Several dancing groups were born and participated in the competition which at the end of it all saw Metics Dance Crew being crowned the champions and went away with K1 million.
From the auditions through to the eviction shows, the audiences were taken through a journey of energetic performances that saw dancing groups creating different types of dances.
I recall a time when the audience watched an all traditional dance sets where the contestants were tasked with dancing traditional dances such as Beni, Tchopa, Minoghe and Malipenga using songs done by King of Pop Michael Jackson.
The set won the hearts of many as it reminded people about “our culture,” and the different traditional dances performed across the country.
There were even some people who had no idea as to where Minoghe is performed for instance let alone differentiate between Mapenenga and Malipenga.
So the contestants apart from rehearsing the different traditional dances, were also given tough assignments to dig deeper and learn the different traditional dances.
Some did very good research and came up with attractive dances while others simply failed to execute the dances.
There was even a time when the contestants were given another exciting challenge where they had to execute different dance styles and these included tango, salsa and tap.
This was a very good routine created by the organisers and it made the contestants did deeper into dance.
With all that said, the organisers of Ka Jive Dance competition have to be commended for creating such a unique platform that has even seen boys and girls aged six years participating.
Children in most cases do not have such chances of showcasing their skills but through the Ka Jive Dance contest, children have been exposed and one of them is Owen Chimbaya, who stunned people with his dance moves.
The young Chimbaya created very impressive routines with the support from his father and went all the way to the top six last year but could not manage to claim the top prize.
The competition has come back bigger and better this year and Times Group decided to extend it to Lilongwe.
While last year Times Group struggled to get the sponsors for the competition, this year things have turned out to be better with Airtel Malawi investing heavily in the contest.
Airtel Malawi Brands and Communications Manager Isabel Kachinjika said recently that they were happy to be associated with the dancing competition which among others has helped unearth the talent of dancing.
The mobile company pumped in K4 million as part of its sponsorship to the dance competition.
“As Airtel, we believe in empowering people to be able to live their dreams. That’s why we have also been involved in this competition,” she said.
“Ka Jive Dance contest allows people to be indentified and awarded for their skills. Last season we came in towards the end of the competition. This season we have started from the beginning.”
Times Group Chief Commercial Manager Dumisani Ngulube said they are so far happy with how the Ka Jive Dance competition has progressed.
“Our aim as Times Group in starting this competition was to give the youths a platform to showcase their art of dancing. Again we wanted the youths to use this talent in raising income,” said Ngulube.
He said things have turned out that way in that many companies have been contacting them to get hold of the different dancing groups.
“We feel very proud that companies have now started valuing this art which was neglected. Companies are hiring these groups and offering them jobs and this is what we wanted,” said Ngulube.
Floor Steppers is one of the groups which has gone on to win the hearts of many with their dancing antics and have been invited to perform in different events.
The group which was last year’s runners up have also been used by different artists in their music projects.
Despite not making it far this year, Floor Steppers have proven that they are a force to reckon with and that to them dancing is an art worth pursuing as a career.
The eviction of Floor Steppers this year has also indicated that there is stiff competition on the ground.
Dancing groups have been born and are all over creating exciting dancing routines.
The Ka Jive Dance competition which is screened on Times Television has turned out to be as popular as So You Think You Can Dance contest.
This is a popular competition which brings a lot of dancers from different states in the United States of America. The dancers undergo auditions and better training.
This dancing platform is a way to go in raising the bar for the art of dancing and surely if dancing schools can be created then Malawi can do more in this field.
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