African Dance

African dance has transformed over the years with African music. The traditional African dance is gradually making way for more modern dance moves. Dance, in general, is the art of expression with coordinated body movement which aims to serve the purpose of communication. In various parts of the globe, such transformation seems to be the order of the day with some simple and funny dance moves sweeping across the globe like wild-fire as seen in the Gangnam Style dance steps. In Africa, the African dance transformation seems to be spearheaded by the West African countries. Answers Africa brings you 8 of the most famous African dance steps.

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Popular African Dance Moves

10. Galala Dance

The Galala dance was highly associated with ghetto to the point that it became the official dance in every Nigerian ghetto community. This African dance style was highly promoted by prominent Nigerian acts who happen to be an offspring of the ghetto community. Some of the most popular musicians that are associated with Galala dance include notable acts like Daddy Showkey, African China and Baba Fryo.

9. Suo Dance

The suo dance was another African dance that made waves across Africa especially the west. The Suo gradually substituted the makossa dance which paved way for its entrance into the Nigerian entertainment scenario. The suo dance was largely ignited by African musicians like Danfo Drivers (mad melon and mountain black), Marvelous Benjy among others. The moves involved in a typical Suo dance involves the lowering of the waist and the pulling and stretching hand movement as may be likened to someone about to start a generator set.

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8. Bobaraba  Dance

Bobaraba Dance originated from Ivory Coast. It is otherwise regarded as “big bottom” dance that was popularized by DJ Mix and DJ Eloh’s hit song Bobaraba

7. Hlokoloza Dance 

Hlokoloza dance originated from South Africa. Kwaito artist Arthur Mafokate, introduced ‘Hlokoloza’ to Africa and the world. Put in his words, “Hlokoloza is a variation on several township dances put together with a bit of the ‘Hlokoloza’ swag.” Hlokoloza in its current form debuted in 2011 but has taken South Africa by storm with its patrons characteristically South African chant of ‘Ayo-yo!!’.

6. Yahoozee

Yahooze dance moves hit the stage and made its waves however, Yahoozee dance style had some negative attachments since it was alleged to be a dance style founded by the yahoo boys (internet scammers and fraudsters). The African dance style was quite popular after the release of the song that introduced it. Nigerian singer, Olu Maintain adopted this dance style as a trade mark for his hit song and re-packaged yahoozee into a brand name. The dance virtually contains a lot of hand movements (pointing up with style) while the feet remain rather stationary or is just merely tapping on the floor.

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5. Mapouka

Mapouka dance originated from Cote d’ Ivoire, another French-speaking West African country. In the late 1990s, a dance called mapouka was banned by governments of several west- African countries for its excessive sexual contents.

4. Alanta

Just about when you think the world is out of dance craze, Atalanta breezed in. Alanta dance was popular that it managed to find its way into most west African social functions. Churches, amusement spots, workplaces and dance shows were all victims of the Atalanta fever. The hand and leg movements and the grotesque facie produce a crazy spectacle. The Alanta dance craze was helped popularized by Nigerian musicians like Artquake, Terry G, Timaya, TuFace Idibia.

3. Makossa Dance/Rhumba/ Soukous Dance


African Rumba, more popularly known as Makossa or Soukous,  is another dance that almost literally took over the entire African continent. The makossa dance step conquered virtually every African nation. The dance originated from the French-speaking West African country of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in late 1990s. The makossa dance became so trendy that it eliminated other trendy African dance steps at that time. Names like Koffi Olomide and Awilo Longomba are almost synonymous with the dance. Makossa involves a lot of wining and thrusting hip movement.

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2. Azonto

Azonto is one of the most recent dance craze that has taken the world by storm since the latter end of 2011. From nightclubs and the streets of Ghana where it originated to churches and schools, the Azonto dance got a strong grip on the average African who loves to dance.

Azonto dance has its origin from some of the less affluent parts of Accra and achieved a global reach. It is an expressive and communicative dance that lets you communicate what you may have in mind while the music is going on. Azonto can be seen in songs like  “Kukere” – Iyanya, “Dance”–R2bees feat. Wizkid; “You Go Kill Me” – Sarkodie feat. E.L. and “Shashe Wowo” – Stay Jay feat.

1. Alingo

The Alingo dance is one of the most recent dance moves in Africa popularized by the twin duo: P- Square in their song titled “Alingo” it is a bit more fast paced and requires a bit more energy than the Azonto dance. With the way things are going, it won’t be long before we witness another wave of African dance moves.