DANCING DEATHTRAPS - Dancers risking serious injuries doing stunts
Dancer Keiva Di Diva has sounded an ominous warning that many more persons will die or become seriously injured if they don't put an end to this current trend of dangerous dancing in dancehall.
"Whole heap more injuries a guh happen and nuff a di males dem a guh end up locked up, because dem a guh throw somebody pickney the wrong way mek dem seriously hurt dem self. Dem a tek too much risk wid dem life and nuff a dem nuh respect dem body," she said.
A St James-based dancer, Roxanne 'Bumpa' Evans, died after suffering injuries during a routine in late January. It has been like deja vu with all the talk about dangerous dance routines in light of injuries and the latest dance-related fatality.
Many will remember the Dutty Wine dance that had heads swinging wildly, until sometime in 2006, when news broke that 18-year-old Tanisha Henry died while performing the routine. There were subsequent calls to ban the dance.
It is no secret that some dancers try the most daring stunts. Males have been seen jumping from trees and rooftops, while females assume the position (flat on their back, with legs spread wide), awaiting their male counterpart to land safely in their zone. Well, it's not always a safe landing!
"A some serious things dem a do, woman a light fire in a dem vagina, man a jump off a roof pon woman ... yuh know how much dancers get injured - hand and foot get bruck? In all my 40 years of dancing, I have never got an injury from dancing," Keiva said.
Medical professionals are also issuing a strong warning, as they say the likelihood of serious injuries from 'stunt dancing' is high.
Dr Garth MacDonald, who is also an entertainer, says "The likelihood of injuries taking place is quite possible based on how intense some of these dance moves are, and with persons jumping from heights, can lead to fractures of the long bones, spinal injury, head injuries, haematoma (bleeding under the skin) and more."
Dr Michael Condell, a consultant neurosurgeon, advised, "It's always important to think about safety when engaging in any type of physical activity where there is a risk of harm. With stunts in general, whether performed in dance or movies, there can be a risk of debilitating injury or death. So I encourage people engaging in what is termed 'stunt dancing', to think about the fact that they can be seriously injured or they may die if the stunt goes wrong."
A survey of some of these dancehall events, shows female dancers, especially, performing some daring routines for money. At least two videos show dancers competing for $3,000 each.
Dancer Gabbidon, of the Get There Squad, says people dance for different reasons and, unfortunately, those who do it for the money or attention, will go beyond boundaries just to prove their worth.
"The dancers who do dem type of dance move dey, it's because dem want to stand out more than even the dancers like we that create dance moves for everybody to do. Suh dem do sumn fi people can see dem. Dem just do it because dem waan look more than the rest of people inna di party or the res' a dancers," Gabbidon said.