Stunt dancing is not uncommon in dancehall. In fact, acrobatic flips and head-top twirls have become a norm, street dancers have always defended their practice of ‘over-the-top’ moves whenever they are brought under scrutiny.
But the dangers of these dancehall stunts have again been brought to the fore, following the death of a young female dancer.
In a video now making the rounds on social media, the deceased, who has been identified by her alias Bumpa, is seen balancing on her head top.
Another dancer, who has also been identified by her street alias Momo, is seen adjusting Bumpa’s legs as they get ready to execute a stunt.
The dance move would require Momo to jump through Bumpa’s opened legs, landing on the opposite side of her starting point.
Things, however, did not go as planned. Instead of landing on the other side, Momo landed on Bumpa. The video ended with her barely moving on the ground.
THE WEEKEND STAR understands the events unfolded on Tuesday night, and the dancer succumbed to her injuries yesterday.
Popular street dancer Dyema Attitude was one of the first persons to share the tragic news on social media.
In an Instagram Live session yesterday morning, Dyema played a voice note that was allegedly sent from Momo explaining what went wrong.
In the recording, a woman is heard saying she would normally execute the stunt with another dancer named Trish, and that she believes she miscalculated the jump causing her ‘body weight’ to fall on Bumpa.
“Me a go over her and me body weight come down but a nuh di whole a me body weight me put over her, but the body weight weh me put dung pan her, she go down pan her neck, yuh understand,” the woman said in the voice note, which has also been circulating on social media as news of Bumpa’s death spread.
In an interview with THE WEKEND STAR, Dyema defended stunt dancing. She explained that in today’s street dance setting, the acrobatics are a must, and usually cause no harm.
She, however, urged dancers to execute the stunts with the partners they have practised with. She said Bumpa’s demise was as a result of inexperience.
“She (Bumpa) new inna di dancing world. She is not a stunt dancer and Momo shouldn’t try the stunt wid her,” Dyema said. “Yuh affi do dem stunt deh wid professional people. Yuh see when me a dance, things weh me know me and my dancing partners do, me nah go try wid anybody else. My dancing partner used to me and me used to him because we practise. Me always tell dancer don’t try nuh new style. Don’t try weh unu nuh know. Anything unu don’t know, don’t do it. Leave it alone.”
Dyema added that many people are now bashing dancers, stating that they need to ‘tone things down’. But while she is inclined to agree with the critics, Dyema said that is not as easy as it seems.
“If yuh a one ‘true’ dancer and dat a your work, yuh can’t calm down, yuh affi always a do it. When we calm down, we nah go get no bookings. Due to how yuh want yuh money fi go yuh yaad and take care a your bills dem and feed your family, yuh go the extra mile,” she said.
As persons pleaded with Momo to turn herself into the police, noted attorney Valerie Neita Robertson said that based on how the events unfolded, Bumpa’s death would be ruled an accident, and, therefore, Momo could not be held accountable.