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Evolution Of Dance In Nigeria (Gala to Gbeku)


Evolution Of Dance In Nigeria

Evolution Of Dance In Nigeria

According to WikipediaDance is a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. Dance is as old as man.

However, during the early days, there have been several trends of dance but with the advent of modern equipment, it has been widespread across the nation and abroad.


Nigerians have adopted both foreign and local dances. In the early 2000’s Makossa trended and it was introduced by a Cameroon artiste called Awilo Longomba.

Below is the dance list with their founding fathers and the extent to which they trended.

1. Galala

In this new era, Gala is the first dance that trended in the street of Nigeria. It was originated in the Ghetto area of Nigeria (Ajegunle). Daddy Showkey pioneered the dance ‘Galala’ and it was in the form of a reggae sound. The ass is tit a little it back then the dancer will move front and back by the beat.

2. Suo

The dance ‘Suo’ is an extension of Daddy Shoky’s Galala. The dance is just like the Galala itself but the hand is added to it. The hand will be rolled and crossed across the face. However, Suo has originated also in Ajegunle and it was founded by Marvellous Benjy. The duo singer Danfo Driver also carried the dance and it made it trended for quite a while.

3. Yahooze

As ‘Suo’ faded way, the Kennis Music star, Olu Maintain comes through with “Yahooze” in 2008. During the ‘Yahooze’ era, hummer jeep was invoked and that was when the term ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ came to limelight. In a way, Olu Maintain created awareness about internet fraudsters with the dance. Furthermore, on Yhooze, two-finger form hand hands were raised rolling across the ear region and a foot will be lifted forward vibing to the sound.

4. Alanta

With the end of Yahooze, Alanta came to limelight and it was pioneered by Terry G (The Apako Master). The dance is similar to that of the Galala but its more fun and faster compared to Galala. It involved a crazy movement of the arms and legs in an alternate manner and crazy facial expressions that were slightly debasing.

5. Azonto

Azonto was originally originated in Ghana by Fuse ODGWizkid later carried the dance and extended it across West Africa and abroad. This also put a Nigerian face to the leg-and-finger dance. Azonto is still very much around to date, mostly because it gives room for expression and creativity.

6. Etighi

Etighi didn’t last for long because it came at when several dance steps were still invoked. Etighi is a traditional dance from the Calabar/Akwa Ibom region of Nigeria. Iyana pioneered the dance step with his hit single ‘Kukere‘. Nigerians alternated Azonto and Etighi together.

7. Skelewu

Shortly, after Etighi in the same era of Azonto, Davido brought out a dance called Skelewu with the release of his 2012/2013 hit single, ‘Skelewu.’ Then it was like a competition between Wizkid and Davido, as Wizkid pioneered Azonto, Davido also pioneered Skelewu. Davido’s Skelewu caught on a lot in Europe especially, where it was a mainstay in dance routines on Youtube for a while.

8. Shoki

After Skelewu, Lil Kesh came through with a new dance step titled Shoki. The dance trended for quite a long time. In Shoki, the dancer will kind of take his hands down, raise it forward, and use it to cover one of his eyes.

9. Shakiti Bobo

The ‘Shakiti Bobo’ was pioneered by YBNL Boss, Olamide with his hit song ‘Bobo‘ in 2015. The dance trended a lot in Lagos and Olamide was given the title ‘King of the Street.’

10. Shaku Shaku

It blew up at the end of 2016 but those who are more familiar with its origins claim it has been a rave in Agege for about two years. The dance ‘Shaku Shaku’ has several street ambassadors. The hands are taken to the back and brought forward crossed. They were several versions of the dance ‘shaku shaku’ and every artiste kept on adding spice to it. However, these two songs “Shepeteri” and “Legbegbe” dominated the ‘Shaku shaku’ era and it gave birth to the likes of Idowest, Mr. Real, Slimcase, and many more. In the Shaku shaku era, Slimcase took the title from Olamide and he became the rave of the moment.

11. Zanku (Legwork)

The dance was started form ‘Danny S Ege‘ but wasn’t noticed until Chinko Ekun came through with a hit single called Able God featuring Zlatan Ibile and Lil Kesh. However, the dance was pioneered by Zlatan. Consequently, the legwork has several versions and it gave birth to so many versions. Zlatan pioneered the dance with the release of back to back hit portraying the dance step.

12. Gbeku

As the Zanku era is gradually coming to an end Zlatan continuous to stay relevant in the music industry. The collaborated with African Gaint Burna Boy to serve us a hit single titled Gbeku. Although Gbeku is not a trend currently, but I think its a preparation for 2020.