Dancers' Paradise: Dancers remember Bogle on the 15th anniversary of his death
The date was January 20, 2005. Gerald ‘Bogle’ Levy was at the height of his career as a dancer when he was cut down by criminal elements. It has been 15 years since his passing, and although the time seems to have flown by, those who knew the entertainer are still trying to cope with his untimely death.
In speaking with at least two such individuals – dancers Keiva and John Hype – it became clear that Bogle not only impacted those closest to him, but his effervescent personality also managed to dance its way into the hearts of thousands of Jamaicans.
“Bogle was a man weh live fi dance innu. Whether sun hot or rain a fall, dem man deh a touch road and represent. Once music a play, Bogle a dance and a so him get people fi love him. People could see that this man genuinely loved what he was doing and das why to this day him name live on, him dance dem live on. The passion weh him did have fi dance did win over everyone,” said John Hype.
Describing Bogle as a father figure and dear friend, John Hype said the late dance icon was the one who nurtured his talent. He explained that in a time when dancing wasn’t seen as a glamorous profession, Bogle encouraged him to do what he loved.
“I started going around Bogle when I was about 17. We used to play football and thing and he became a good friend,” he said.
“A nuff man Bogle encourage fi embrace dancing even when nobody never a pay it nuh mind, and a talk say it nah make no money. We built a relationship, going around him every day, it became a norm for me to dance. Yuh couldn’t be around him and not dance. It became something that I loved because of him.”
Dancehall’s dancing diva, Keiva, shared similar sentiments as she reminisced on the relationship she had with Bogle. She says there are two dates she ensures she never forgets: Bogle’s birthday and the anniversary of his death.
“I love him and miss him, and wish I could get him back. But unfortunately, it can’t happen. I just make sure to not forget January 20 or August 22, his birthday. On those days, anywhere in the world, I make sure to let people never forget either. He was my hero, friend, mentor. I respect him and love him. He was the life of the party anywhere he went. I enjoyed touring with him,” she said. “His legacy is gonna always be alive, that’s Bogle. None can compare.”