Top 10 Dance Styles in Nigeria

Dance involves moving the body to the beat and rhythm of an organized sound. Different culture and backgrounds adopt dance styles to reveal or showcase different things. An expression, an idea or a story can be reflected through a dance. Here in Nigeria, dance can used to teach people social patterns and values. It can be used as a rite of passage, or be used to criticize members of a particular community or order. Dance styles are used by some communities to celebrate festivals or funerals. Dance can also be used for competitions, recitals or poetry. Dance in many african societies, is also used for performing rites of passage.

Over the years, dance styles have evolved from one dance step to another. Now, different creative artists come up with one dance move or the other to blend with their rhythm.

There are several popular dance moves in Nigeria. However, we came up with the top 10 dance styles in Nigeria, based solely on popularity, originality and fun.

Here you go, the top 10 dance styles in Nigeria, in no particular order.

#1 Azonto Dance


This is one of the dance fever that took Nigeria by storm since the near end of 2011. This dance originated from Ghana but was made popular here in Nigeria by our indigenous creative artist Wizkid and then, Fuse ODG. It is one communicative and expressive dance that lets you express what you have in mind while dancing to the music. It starts with one or two-step movements and involves knee bending and hip movements, just like most African dances. Now, it has evolved from the basic moves to maiming to actions such as washing, ironing of clothes, boxing, praying, swimming and others. It is a very amusing and creative dance which allows you to create your dance pattern.

#2 Suo Dance

This ghetto dance was hot in the late nineties but its reign didn’t last long. The dance was created and made popular by two artists Mountain Black and Mad Melon on their hit single ‘Danfo Driver’. However, it is on our top 10 because of the rave it created during the late nineties.

#3 Galala Dance

This dance is probably the official dance move for the ghetto community here in Nigeria. It was promoted by musicians who were brought up there. Artists such as Burna Boy, Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo have helped make this dance popular. Galala dance involves the legs being moved backward with hands forward. Some people appointed Daddy Showkey as the creator of the dance, others say it is Father U-turn. The song is synonymous with the Nigerian Reggae Music.

#4 Alingo Dance


This dance move is one of the most recent moves created and popularized by the twin artists P-Square in their song titled ‘Alingo’. The dance move is a fast one and requires energy because it is similar to break dancing. Some people say that the dance is somewhat complicated for them. When the celebrity twins uploaded the song on You-tube, it was also criticized for bearing a close semblance to the Azonto dance.

#5 Alanta Dance

This is an original dance move from Nigeria. It started out in 2007 in Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos. The dance became popular when Artquake released it in a musical video ‘Alanta’. Like most African dance, it requires vigorous movements of the hands, hips and legs. The pattern of the dance expresses a movement as if one is fanning flames while raising one leg. The dance portrays the humor and creativity of the Nigerian people. Artists like Timaya, TuFace Idibia, Terry G aided in making this dance move popular.

#6 Skelewu Dance

The dance was invented by Davido, a Nigerian artist. He shot and released two music videos in 2015 with the dance which became a mega hit. Another Nigerian artist laid claim to the dance and many critics claimed the dance looked like one other artist dance called Gbetiti.

#7 Etighi Dance


This dance was brought from the South-South part of Nigeria. The move requires the hips being carried up and alternated in right and left direction. You can mix it with the Azonto dance as they both require the same movement. ‘Kukere’ song, released in March 2012, by Iyanya made the dance move popular. Other artists have released music videos with the dance move but Iyanya’s Kukere is the most recognized one.

#8 Sekem Dance

This dance move was created by the MC Galaxy and Tspize his producer. It was released in 2015. The song and dance move soon went viral and was one of the favorite song of our former President’s wife, Patience Jonathan.

#9 Bobo Dance

The dance move was created by Olamide in his hit track ‘Shakiti Bobo’ released in May 2015 . This dance move is very popular and still current in our society today.

#10 Shoki Dance


This dance move is loved by almost everyone as it seems to match every beat. it became popular in June 2014 when the track ‘Shoki’ was released by Lil Kesh. Though there has been dispute between Lil Kesh and Orezi as to who  created it, the Shoki slang has penetrated through almost every higher institution in Nigeria.

Nigerians enjoy these dance moves and we are expecting more creative dance moves in future.

Got any thoughts on Nigerian dance styles? Why not share in the comments section!

*images are curled from google images

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