OK, I’m not sure of how many of my American readers are yet aware of this, but I read this and had to discuss. There’s a popular Jamaican dance called the Dutty Wine.
I know, I know. Sounds classy, right?
It involves rapidly gyrating your butt, hips, and neck simultaneously. Long hair or a weave is instrumental to the look. Just watch for yourself, but fair warning – none of these links are safe for work, really. I mean, there’s no nudity, but if your computer could catch a virus from skank, this would be the root cause.
I think Beyonce throws in a little dutty wine in the video for Ring The Alarm (the weave-flinging part, anyway), and you can see a TV-ready version in Sean Paul and Keyshia Cole’s Give It Up To Me (in my opinion, this dude does the dance better than all of them).
But women are stepping up their game in the dancehall and taking the dance to extreme and dangerous levels. According to the Jamaica Gleaner, it is believed that an 18 year old girl just died from doing the Dutty Wine.
She reported feeling dizzy and was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
I am fascinated by the Jamaican dancehall scene and I think it’s cool that the culture still has named dances. The tradition dates back to the roots of reggae. The cool and deadly, horseman scabby, the water pump, bogle, and butterfly were popular in the Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties. More recently, there has been the Sesame Street, Wacky Dip, Willy Bounce, and Hot Wuk. All of these dances are fascinating to watch and probably pretty fun to do; I just think women need to think about how we’re represented and how we represent ourselves.
I’m from Trinidad, and our Carnival is legendary. Women get down on the floor to wine and have a good time, and ain’t nothing wrong with that. But I have always hated when children are encouraged to follow suit. Many people defend it as a cultural thing. I’d love to hear your opinions on this.
This is a topic I’m going to return to next week – positive female images in Caribbean music and hip hop. For now, I just have to say that while I’m utterly amazed by these dancers, there’s something unmistakably flawed with the culture when we’re busting out video cameras to capture (and coax) our children gyrating on the floor, or participating in a whore-off so fervent that it becomes fatal.