Posted on 23 August 2012.
48 years ago yesterday, one of Dancehall’s patriarchs was born as Gerald ‘Bogle’ Levy began his journey towards becoming Jamaica’s most decorated dancer.
Though controversy surrounded his life, Bogle graced the world with his slick moves, undeterred ego as well as an ability to wow a crowd at every turn with his feet. The works of Bogle as well as the original Dancehall Queen, Carlene (who deserves a very honorable mention for this list) works are instrumental in creating a clear avenue for Dancehall to travel through as their knack for entertaining audiences sparked a movement that has gradually grown since they rose to stardom in the early 90s.
With several dance crews including Shady Squad, Ravers Clavers, Dance Xpressionz and Sample Six infiltrating sessions and events worldwide, Bogle also paved the way for many individual talents to continue carrying out his work, even after his untimely death in 2005.
Taking that fact into consideration here are nine other individual dancers who’ve shaped the foundation of Dancehall music and who are deserving of credit for sparking interest within the genre in their own ways.
10. Kim Versatile: Known for her appearances in videos such as Hot Like We (Ce’Cile) and Gallis (Mr. Vegas), Kimiko ‘Kim Versatile’ Miller hasn’t looked back since earning a runner-up spot on the popular Dancing Dynamites show in 2007. Hailing as an Edna Manley College and Ardenne High School alumnus, Kim Versatile has been leading the new wave of dancers in recent years and living up to her moniker through a borage of intriguing costumes as well as her undeniable flexibility.
A popular choreographer in her own right, Kim Versatile boasts a very accomplished resume’, working with several other Dancehall/Reggae superstars such as Vybz Kartel, Voicemail, Cherine Anderson, Beres Hammond and rap superstar, Sean Kingston to name a few. With so many accomplishments at such a young age, Kim Versatile’s potential continues to skyrocket.
9. Keiva The Diva: Perhaps the first female dancer to gain mainstream recognition within Dancehall circles was Keiva ‘The Diva’ Hibbert; popping on several television screens when she appeared in Elephant Man’s classic video for Log On. Keiva became a fixture in Elephant Man’s videos and, despite boasting a very slim figure, her range in motion made her a must-see dancer in the early 2000s, culminating in winning the title of Dancehall Queen in 2003
Keiva has seemingly shied away from the spotlight ever since word broke in 2009 that she was pregnant. However, motherhood hasn’t stopped Keiva from performing and has even tested recording waters.
8. Ice – Though branded as a troublemaker throughout his career, no one could question Ice as a vaunted dancer.
Ice created several dance moves while a member of the Black Roses Crew, where Bogle also featured. Despite a somewhat marked reputation, Ice became famous for inventing the Gully Creepa dance in 2008, a move that Usain Bolt also popularized during his exploits in Beijing.
As a result, big things seemed in store for Ice’s career. However, like Bogle and Black Roses founder, Willie Haggart before him, Ice was gunned down as he hung out on Boxing Day at a bar in Kingston, preventing him from reaching his full potential as an elite dancer.
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