Dancers' Paradise: Thick Bad plans to pull her weight in the streets
Fresh out of the community of Kintyre in St Andrew, an up-and-coming dancer, Elambie Desgouttes, has decided to step out of the box and into the streets to show off her talent.
The 24-year-old had always taken an interest in dancing but never really knew if she would take it on as a profession.
She started out as a member of a dance group called Most Wanted Girls, which included popular dancers Pretti Pretti and DHQ Cuban. The group gradually separated as some dancers developed a solo brand, which this dancer is determined to do with her stage name, 'Thick Bad'.
"Instead of following other females who use the title of dancehall queen, or DHQ for short, I decided to use something catchier that defines me," Thick Bad told THE WEEKEND STAR.
"So mi have the likkle thickness, and people always say me bad when me dance. That's how 'bad wid the thickness' and 'thick bad' came about."
One of the challenges she has faced since taking on dancing as a job is the lack of opportunities to get booked for a music shoot. She pointed out that talent agencies, and even the artistes, prefer small-bodied females because it is believed that they are more flexible and can do the necessary moves.
"The petite girls always get the video-shoot bookings, but mi nah try lose my thickness for no reason. My weight and size is not my biggest challenge, it is my shyness. Once I get past that, I can do anything.
"There are times I feel awkward, like I don't want to go in the dance and shame myself, although I have never," she continued.
Thick Bad's desire to entertain saw her working on the hotel entertainment circuit for two years, but she felt that something was missing. She recently entered a dance routine in the Instagram competition hosted by recording artiste Daminance and selector Supa Hype called the Penguin Challenge and placed second, for which she won a $10,000 cash prize. That video received more than 1,000 views on Instagram, and another recording of her dancing on the top of a bar counter at a local event has twice the number of views.
"I want to be at the pinnacle of dancing, not just in the streets or on bar tops," said Thick Bad as she looks forward to the future.
"Mi need fi guh a road more, put in the work so everybody knows who Thick Bad is, making it more possible for me to get tours and event bookings here and there," she said.