The Monster called “Dancehall”

| August 25, 2015
Staff Writer - Latoya Wakefield

Staff Writer – Latoya Wakefield

Dancehall has evolved from merely rub-a dubbing to “animalistic behaviour”. Women are the main subjects; where eyes and private parts feast.

The men are never demeaned for “daggering” a woman. Fist pumps and all hail to him, he’s a king as he just did that woman “wicked” while the women are looked down on as “easy”, “no good”, “non-wife material”. I once thought dancehall was all about having a good time, using your body to celebrate joy. An expression of freedom but the more dances I go to, the more I realize that it’s a form of “control”. The patrons follow the dj’s lead to the point of stupidity. Dancehall’s latest trend of washing hair while dancing and sitting on fire just proves that one fool makes many.

There’s a line between having fun and acting “fool fool” and it’s like they are incapable of seeing the difference. The effects that dancehall has on folks is akin to the effects of some serious drugs. There are no true limits especially in a street dance even if it’s life threatening. There was one incident of a woman in the midst of doing a popular dancehall style broke her neck. Breasts go loose; vaginas are bare even to an extreme point of public displays of behind the door scenes. If this is what fun and entertainment is about then Jamaica is in some serious trouble.

Dancehall Queen competition. Photo courtesy

Dancehall Queen competition. Photo courtesy

Many people don’t believe that music has an effect on the mind. I would like to believe it doesn’t but as I witnessed patrons dancing like they’re possessed, clothes falling off in the process – I can only conclude that music has a part to play in this. The dances that accompany these songs aren’t assessed for quality and “doability”. Despite how “low” a dance might seem, it is done anyways. According to

“People learn through music and their minds grow faster because of it. Some music, when implemented properly, can have positive effects on learning and attitude. Music is a powerful thing, and when we understand its significance, it can bring dramatic changes both positive and negative into our lives.”

Dancehall seems to be leaning towards the negative side. I believe that we should be more cognizant of what lyrics we use and what dances we put out there. We can all have a good time without the extremities, without the damage and without disrespecting ourselves. We can bubble and whine as much as we want but don’t bubble and whine into forgetting what you stand for.

What’s your take on this?

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