The Malta Guiness Street Dance Competition will take place this Saturday at the KICC. Dance crews of 6 will do their best to wow the judges in order to win the very respectable prize of KES 400,000… AND the chance to represent Kenya at the finals in September.
Competition is fierce, but perhaps the dancers will have more to fear from the perfectionist… JUDGES.
“Dance carries the same meaning everywhere and at least has one common feature which is movement. Just like music, it is an art found on every corner of the earth. We cannot stop the urge to dance even if we wanted to”
Wini, a respected authority in dance choreography, is best known for her acts as one half of the Boomba Girls, a dance duo that debuted in the local music video scene in 2000. She has built an illustrious career as a professional dancer, working with top artistes across East Africa, DJ groups as well as international artistes, both on stage and on screen.
Away from the limelight, she continues to play a significant role in the development of dance in Kenya, working closely with the young and young-at-heart to cultivate their dance talent.
In 2008, she set up a dance company known as Bone Marrow as the vehicle that would take her love for dance to the next level. Apart from running a series of dance programs for schools, Bone Marrow trains people that hope to be professional dancers, choreographs dances for film, theater and commercials, and performs at parties and corporate gatherings. Bone Marrow also runs an internet portal, www.bone-marrow.net, which provides an avenue for dance lovers to discuss and explore all things dance.
At the moment, Wini is taking on three separate projects at Braeside Senior School, Aga Khan Academy (Senior School) and Aga Khan Junior Academy, as Dance Director for musical productions – My Fair Lady, In the Heights and Dig It – within the schools calendars.
Highlights of Wini’s accomplishments in the recent past include:
- Teaching dance as a subject to the International Baccalaureate (IB) students at the Aga Khan Academy (between 2006 and 2008). She has also taught dance during this period at Kenya High School and State House Girls High School
- Engaged as a judge during Danceomania, a TV dance competition sponsored by Close-Up toothpaste for high school students held in 2005. The competition was aired over a 13 week window on Nation TV
- Established and ran the dance club in Malezi Junior and Senior Schools between 2004 and 2006
In between her tight schedule, Wini finds time to engage in social responsibility activities, under the banner “Unlock”. This is a mentorship program that she runs, under Bone Marrow, that targets girls.
Moses “Qqu” Odhiambo
Moses, who prefers to go by the name Qqu (pronounced kuku) is a multi-talented artiste who cut his teeth in music and dance at the age of 5. Music and dance formed an integral backdrop to his childhood and teenage years, and it is no wonder that these would blend years later to form the key thrust of his professional life.
Qqu has today curved out his niche as one of Kenya’s most sought-after choreographers and dance instructors. Together with his long-time friend and fellow choreographer Ian Wainaina, they have made their mark in the entertainment arena, through their group N.I.X (Ngoma Ibambe Xawaxawa). Together they have blazed the trail, revolutionizing the music and dance scene across Eastern Africa.
Qqu has worked, and continues to work very closely with a retinue of artistes across diverse dance genres. Some of his recent choreography engagements have included a plethora or artistes, among them Wyre, Sheila Mwanyigha, Sema Coca-Cola Pop Stars, Mbuvi, Henrie Mutuku and Eric Wainaina.
Behind the scenes, he has established strong credentials as a dance instructor, tutoring at Holiday Inn, Arena Fitness Center, Klub House, Aga Khan Schools, Braeburn Schools, International School of Kenya, Nairobi Serena Hotel and Hotel Intercontinental.
Qqu’s prowess has not been limited to the local scene – he has shared the stage with big stars such as P Square, Oliver Mutukudzi, Bebe Cool, Chameleon, 2 Face Indiba, Ray C, Morgan Heritage, AY, and Jay Sean.
Within his busy schedule as dance instructor, choreographer and performer, Qqu still manages to squeeze in quality time to hone his skills as a digital artist. In his own words, “layering and texturing of sounds can be paralleled to painting with colours and compositions”…an accomplished artiste by all standards.
With 2009 already halfway through, Qqu’s plans for the remainder of the year are as ambitious as can be – he plans to launch his debut sophomore album in August, as well as roll out a reality TV dance series towards the end of the year – all these, as he also takes on the interesting assignment of selecting Kenya’s best street dance crew, to represent the country in the International Finals of the Malta Guinness Street Dance competition.