Throughout history dance has been used as an emotive tool to express cultural customs, political messages and as a mode of communication in many ways that is now entrenched into the fibre of the South African cultural landscape. Red Bull Dance Your Style highlights how street dance is part of South African heritage. It’s celebrated in three videos by the top street Red Bull dancers Limpopo Boy, Ashlynn and Junior King.
Many countries around the world have distinctive styles that highlight the societal tapestry of their countries. South Africa’s landscape has also influenced this plethora of dance styles with isipantsula, gqom, amapiano, breaking, krumping and sbujwa.
This year, Red Bull Dance Your Style (the world’s biggest street dance competition) took to the main cities of South Africa in search of the best street dancers that will compete and highlight the best street dance styles that Mzansi will showcase to the global community. Sbujwa dancer Limpopo Boy highlights how social media has played a major role in highlighting the culture of street dance in Limpopo.
“In my experience, Polokwane dancers think they can’t make it because of where they come from; they feel isolated and far from accessing opportunities. Now that we have social media it’s easy for them to showcase and engage with people they’ve never met or worked with,” – Limpopo Boy
27 year old Capetonian street dancer, Ashlynn Erasmus has a strong passion in enriching the future of the South African dance culture as a tool to empower young women and girls. She uses the raw, street, rugged Krump dance style and adds a feminine element to showcase this diversity of women’s strength and influence in dance.
“Being a featured dancer in South Africa is a privilege – we have the ability to influence our generation and generations to come by using the platforms that we have been given. What I would like to achieve is to empower young women and girls through dancing. I really want to impact this new generation and inspire them and also equip them with everything they need for the next season of their lives”, – Ashlynn.
Dance has been seen across the world as a positive medium that shifts the community from the destructive societal issues. Gqeberha born and raised award winning street dancer Junior King expresses how dance has influenced his life positively.
“Dancing is an escape, I was born into a lot of bad things, I was exposed to gangsterism and doing wrong things so when I started dancing it became an escape from that. It became my passion because I trained everyday – it literally took me from a bad space in my life to a comfortable and happy one”, – Junior King.
The Red Bull Dance Your Style South Africa top 16 dancers will be announced on 14 September 2021 that will compete at the national final taking place on 23 October 2021 in Cape Town.