FRESH from a seven-month international tour, dancer Garth Sample is back in the island and is introducing his latest moves Wap Dem and Fly Out.
“These dances already a go hard at weekly sessions like Hot Mondays, Boasy Tuesdays and Weddy Weddy,” he told Jamaica Observer.
Garth Sample said he was performing on shows in countries including Canada, United States, England and Bermuda.
According to the dancehall choreographer — for him and his crew comprising Scotland Dog, Diamond Sample and Little Six — marketing yourself is essential to your longevity. Social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as dominating the video lights and appearing in music videos assists in getting contracts.
Garth Sample, whose real name is Garth Balfour, disagreed with the notion that that male-dominated dance groups are stealing the spotlight from female dancers, who have to be resorting to attention-grabbing activities such as ‘bottle sucking.
“We are not stealing the spotlight. We use the video light and music videos as a way of advertising ourselves. Out of sight, out of mind. If we don’t do that, we don’t go on tour. Bogle has made dancing into a job, so when we are out there dancing it’s not just for the entertainment alone, as we are trying to earn a dollar,” he said.
Dr Donna Hope Marquis recently made the comment that male dancers have captured the video light and as a result reaping the intangible rewards which include status, hype, and recognition which translates into music video appearances, appearances in television ads and paid performances.
Garth Sample said women who were ‘baring all’ and performing sexually-motived acts including bottle-sucking were not regular dancers.
“Some of these girls are just some go-gos, who just come to dances to make a money. Dancers like Mad Michelle, Keiva, Luggu Luggu, Latisha, among others, will never behave like that and they are the ones getting the shows and tours. I am in this business for 19 years and it’s the first mi a see dem ting de,” Garth Sample said.
Born in Kingston, Garth Sample grew up in Barbican, St Andrew. He and his group Sample Six got their break in 2005 after Beenie Man created a song after their dance move Swing Eh Weh. Other dance moves followed including Veronica Campbell, Up and Live, Cut Dem Off, and Hula Hoop.
— Simone Morgan