You know how YouTube goes; one video invariably leads to another and soon you’re up to your elbows with enough African dance videos to span the length of an indie film festival. You’ll be happy to learn that in a quest to find the best dance clips from the continent, we’ve done the trawling so you don’t have to. Some particular gems found along the way, which we’d be cruel not to share with you, include the wonderful world of Yondo Sister and her synchronised dance troupe, an hour-long marathon “best of Dr Sakis” for the diehard fans, proof that breakdancing on the beach is not for the fainthearted, and this hilarious dance-comedy ft. bread boobs and some very fancy legwork (which obviously has over a million views). Browse those links at your own leisure, but first, enjoy 12 of our favourite African dance clips on the web.
The A-Z of African dance
If a crash course in African dance styles is what you’re after, thank Senegal’s first urban dance centre, The Dance Hall for this handy alphabetical breakdown that visualises A for azonto right through to Z for zoropoto.
This eye-popping video starring two life-long South African dancers Jabu and JR surfaced in 2014, but we love it as much today. Watch them bend their bones and perform crazy hat tricks in this beautifully shot clip. (Also see: The original skeleton movers of Soweto).
‘Unité & Litre’ starring Jolie Ngemi
Congo-born Belgium-based beatmaker Baloji is an artist who’s been pairing his music with outstanding visuals from the get to. In the video for his track ‘Unité & Litre’ off the 2015 EP 64 Bits and Malachite, dancer and choreographer Jolie Ngemi performs a gorgeous solo in the streets of Kinshasa.
The kuduro queen
Titica is a transsexual Angolan singer and dancer who performs a local form of urban rap-techno fusion known as “kuduro”. Watch her slay in the fast-paced video for ‘Procura o Brinco’.
A dance off in Togo
In the video for Togolese singing duo Toofan’s catchy tune ‘Eledji’, fashionable friends gather around for a colourful flash mob that’ll have you bopping along.
Pantsula meets jazz
Easily one of the best music videos to come out of South Africa in 2015, we see an energetic group of pantsula dancers flirt with the sophistication of a black tie orchestra in this piece choreographed to the music of UK jazz band Sons of Kemet.
Not your average house party
The description for this clip, which was upload in November of 2009, reads: “A group of youth display African dance moves as never before seen on the face of the planet”. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but still cause to watch the out-of-this-world dance stylez below.
Kenya’s FBI Dance Crew
Dressed in all black, camo and red, Kenya’s FBI Dance Crew break it down to Danagog’s ‘Hookah’ feat. Davido with infectious energy.
Rejoicing in dance
The wonderful music video for Kenyan electronic pop outfit Just A Band’s track ‘Winning In Life’ stars Kui Kariuki and Kwach Willy as a couple who celebrate a new addition to their relationship through dance.
Urban styles in Uganda
From Mozambique to L.A.
If you’ve seen Queen B’s music video for ‘Run The World (Girls)’, (and more recetly Laura Mvula’s ‘Phenomenal Woman’) you’ve seen Tofo Tofo. The Mozambican kwaito dance group flew to L.A. for a dance workshop with Beyoncé in 2011 – watch their incredible journey here. Below, peek them performing in their signature style back home.
Nigerian afropop singer Yemi Alade’s music video for ‘Sugar’ combines pop art inspired visuals with moves orchestrated by celebrated choreographer Ezinne Asinugo in this kaleidoscopic treat for the eyes.
If you liked this, check out our list of 9 uniquely South African music videos.
More Africa Month on 10and5.