A relatively new addition to the Independence celebrations, the event has been growing since its inception 10 years ago.
Stephen Davidson, director of marketing at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), said the growth is reflected in the competition’s ability to attract dancers from outside Jamaica’s shores.
“This year will be highlighted by the entrance of dance groups from Finland and France. The remaining 14 finalists are Jamaican groups, including an all-girl group. The championship is celebrating 10 years, so this show will be very special with high-energy performances. In addition to the dance, the audience will be rocked by performances from Chi Ching Ching and Bling Dog, a sound clash and dance skits by past champions,” Davidson told the Jamaica Observer.
“We are extremely proud of the growth of the championship, the competition has been able to attract international groups from Finland, Guadeloupe and Japan. In 2013, the competition held its first elimination outside of Jamaica. This was held at the One Love Jamaica Festival in Tokyo, Japan. The growth can be attributed to the power of Brand Jamaica and the increased love of and interest in dancehall and our dance moves. We also have Jamaicans going overseas to teach dance classes, as well as foreigners coming to Jamaica to attend dances and dance workshops,” he continued.The dance crews vying for this year’s title are Outshine Girlz, Dominant Nation, Supreme Blazers, D’Originals, Street Team, Fantastic Steppaz, and Breezy Squad from Kingston and St Andrew. St Catherine is represented by the groups Dynamixx Team, D’Koloni, and Igneous Dancers. D’Squad will represent Portland, while Flava X Empire will represent St. Mary, and Jah-Opa Conquerers and High Voltage Dancers, St Thomas. The international dancers are Gaza Girlz of Finland and NSA Human Dance from France.
Davidson is promising a full dancehall experience.
“If you want to see the best of Jamaican dancers performing the latest most entertaining dance moves, World Reggae Dance Championship is the place to be. Not only will you see local dance groups, but you get to see what the foreigners can do. To top it off, you get the full dancehall experience with the sound clash and the live performance of dancehall artistes,” he added.
The current holders of the title are Jamaica’s Str8 Edge Classic Dancers.