The maiden edition of the Ghana Dance Industry Awards (GHADI Awards) happened on Saturday, January 30, 2021 at the Aviation Social Centre in Accra.
It saw the likes of legendary dancers such as former World Dance Champion Adjetey Sowah, musicians Akosua Agyapong, Reggie Rockstone, dance lecturer and reality show judge TerryOfosu Bright and twenty other dance personalities and stakeholders being awarded for their contributions to Dance in Ghana.
Speaking at the event, the CEO of Dancetera, Robert Klah made known the intention of the maiden edition of the scheme is to honour dance icons and stakeholders for their contribution to dance in the country over the years. However, he added, futureeditions will be based on competition with deserving dancers battling for the various categories. This, he says is to enable the best dance artistes and to celebrate excellence year on year.
Honourees were selected from the various sectors of the dance industry in the country. From the couple dance community, James Parker of Apex Ballroom Dance with over 14 years of ballroom dance development and the inclusion of highlife dance; Lumo Bortei-Doku for dedicating 2 decades of his life to Afro-Latin dance in Ghana, operating Dancation International sessions; Ricci Boateng who operated Salsa in the City, Kumasi and more recently, Kizalsa in Accra, spanning 12 years of impact; the salsa duo performers Luumva Laryea & Beatrice Danquah for representing Ghana at several international festivals.
The street dance category also saw Heroz Dance Crew, 4Bent Dance Crew, High Spirit Dance Crew, and Kyses (all-female) Studios, honoured for projecting street dance culture at concerts, competitions, music videos, adverts, events, productions, coaching, workshops and more, over the last decade. The praise dance category had Worship in Motion and Divinity Blazersrecognized for promoting urban gospel dance and inspiring many talents to dance in the church. Furthermore, the National Dance Company, Ghana Dance Ensemble, and the Dance Department of the School of Performing Arts (UG-Legon), were duly acknowledged for their roles in theatre dance. Malta Guinness was also recognized for their investments in street dance development; Shekoross for over a decade of organizing free annual street dance shows; Former deputy minister for Culture, Arts and Tourism Hon. Dzifa Gomashie for supporting dance over the years.
For promoting and selling Ghana beyond the borders, musicianFuse ODG was acknowledged for his global promotion of Azonto Dance; Incredible Zigi for creating dance steps such as “Pilolo” and “Kupe” which won global admiration with superstars including Janet Jackson caught in its fever; EzunteyFlex for promoting Azonto Dance through his “I am Azonto”dance project, creating the Azonto A to Z tutorials, and for using dance to support young lives in his neighbourhood; DWP Academy for rising to become the most influential dance academy in Ghana, with branches in the USA and Asia, whose icons are Dancegod Lloyd, Afrobeast, Mr. shawtyme and YoofiGreene.
To acknowledge the importance of DanceSport, medals were presented to winners of the of the various dance competitions held; Battle in the Ring Competition from season 1 to 4 (Dynamic Duo, Soljaz, Militantz and ABM crews); Dance of Ghanaian Origin Battle for seasons 1 & 2 (Lwarencia Akua Kuorkpe and Lucy Akua Noamesi) and Praise Dance Battle Season 1 winners, Unto Thee Crew (Afro Steps).
The event saw numerous and exciting performances from some of the best dancers in the dance industry such as Humble Starswho opened the show with a spectacular performance, narrating the evolution of dance. Mr. Kirts and Poimano Flames, AbenaLarbi & Twitches, Lawrencia Akua Kuorkpe of United African Dance Theatre, Dance With Love, Incredible Zigi and his Afrozig group.
Sammy & Gigi brought it with a Kizomba-fusion performance, and James Parker, with Apex Ballroom team treated patrons with a Highlife and Rock n Roll dance. Then came the dance marathon featuring Sinclair in a solo dance exhibition; ABM, the reigning winners of the street dance battle from 2020 Ghana Dance Festival, with lyrical and afro dance moves; Hiphop vibe from the Arenees led by Illyboy; HnH Powerpack Crew with a blend of Breaking, Krump, House, and jaw dropping stunts; Militantz with a clean and well-executed Hiphop performance, and DWP Academy with an exciting Afrodance performance.
Others included Queen Bees, Afrygirls, Flawless, and Abigail, Naa Dollar & Gaza of “DiAsa” dance reality fame. The “Sika” hit song was performed by Dancegod Lloyd, amidst onstage dancing from team DWP, and an exciting audience cheer.
An inessential addition to the night’s performance was the freestyle sessions by the dance legends – musician and dancerAkosua Agyapong, Terry Bright Ofosu (1989 National Dance Champion), and Adjetey Sowah (1986 World Dance Champion).
Gracing the event were Mark Okraku Mantey (President of the Creative Arts Council), Nana Fredua-Agyeman Ofori-Atta(acting Board Chair of the National Theatre), Nii Tete Yartey(former Artistic Director of the National Dance Company), Mr. S. Kuwor, Vivian of Vivie’s Dance Factory, Petra Peterson of Salsa Ghana, and other industry stakeholders from the various dance communities as well as the media.
Dolly Dove of the Flawless Dance Studio hosted the red-carpet session with the main awards ceremony being hosted by Ibrahim Ben Brako popularly known as IB of Joy Prime Tv.
Thd maiden edition of the GHADI Awards, on Saturday, 6thFebruary, 2021, at 9pm will be telecasted on GhOne TV, Facebook and YouTube at Ghana Dance Industry Awards.
The first edition of the Annual Ghana Dance Industry Awards was supported by the Dancers & DanceSport Association of Ghana (DDASPAG), Rhythms Africa, Multimix Media and powered by Dancetera.