A Canada-based Nigerian, Dayo Alabi, has launched a dance challenge video to foster unity and happiness among blacks in Vancouver.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) via her social media handle on Wednesday that the challenge was released to commemorate the annual World Mental Health Awareness month celebrated in October.
Alabi, the creator, Black In Vancouver (BIV) Dance Challenge, said that the video was in response to the need to uplift the spirit of blacks in the community at a time of the pandemic through the arts.
The six-minute video, titled, “Master KG – Jerusalema, BIV Dance Challenge”, made available to NAN and released on Wednesday on YouTube and other social media platforms shows dancers clad in African fabric performing various choreographed steps.
According to Alabi, the dance challenge was further inspired by the hit song Jerusalema by Master KG, in which one of Nigeria’s most globally accepted artiste, Burna Boy, also featured in its remix.
She said: “BIV Dance Challenge was created during the pandemic, an idea borne out of happiness; to bring the black community together; to encourage wellness and bring hope.
“The project has changed the whole tune of the sadness in COVID-19 and just brought a different kind of emotion to everyone.
“So, part of it has to do with mental – people were in a dark place, down and sad.
“Many things were happening – so many lives were lost, and also because of the situation of ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement – all of which spiralled during the pandemic as well.
“So, this was like a light shining on everyone because creating the dance challenge video just brought so much light into the sadness that was already in place. It just changed everything for the community.”
The documentary scriptwriter added that BIV Dance Challenge had created the first-ever ‘Jerusalema’ dance challenge in Canada.
“It is a dance challenge sweeping the world, uplifting spirits, bringing communities together, giving a sense of belonging, while creating the much-needed happiness in the face of a pandemic.
“So, the dance challenge is committed to showcasing black excellence, promoting the expertise and talents in the dance, music, and arts in our (black) community, while celebrating and preserving our culture,” she said.
She also added that making the video had brought together members of the community, many of whom volunteered their skills, time, and resources.
“It took several weeks of online tutorials and in-person practice from talented instructors.
“It was the most beautiful, amazing, inspirational experience Black in Vancouver has embarked upon and the joy and happiness created cannot be quantified,” she added.
Alabi, therefore, advised Nigerians, especially youths, to always remain focused and strive to make positive impact in any community they found themselves.
“Be grounded, involve yourself in the community, make a difference, and give back in any way you can,” she added.
BIV was formed as a subgroup of ‘Meanwhile in Vancouver’, where the idea of a dance challenge was first mooted.