Dancers' Paradise: No slowing down for Dyema Attitude - Dancer says she has no plans to retire
Dyema Attitude is a name synonymous with street dancing in Jamaica. The larger-than-life dancer is the creator of popular dances such as Dutty Whine and Hot Wuk, and almost no conversation about hardcore dancehall dancing can be had without the mention of her name.
At 38 years old, Dyema is still competing with the best of the best in the streets and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, to her, age is just a number, and with no health issues deterring her, retiring is out of the question.
“Nobody can’t tell me fi retire, say me a get old, because nobody nuh build me. Me nah look pan dem deh people deh weh a make dem talk deh, because me nah retire till me old and grey. A God gimme me talent and say me fi use it. Old nuh deh nowhere near me yah so, miss. Nuff people rate Dyema in the streets and still a look forward to seeing me inna di dance. Look how long me deh pan the dance floor and me still a reign; so talk truth, if me never still make sense, people wouldn’t a book me. Weh old a go?” she said.
Having begun her professional career at the age of 16, Dyema Attitude says she has steadily built a reputation that has earned her huge respect from members of the dancehall fraternity.
She expressed that outside of her talent, she’s a fun-going person and people simply enjoy her company.
“People love Dyema. Outside a di vibes weh me bring to the dance, if yuh feel sad and down yuh can call on Dyema Attitude, and is a must yuh ago get a laugh, I’m just that person,” she told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Still, despite her fun-going personality, Dyema said she has received her fair share of criticism over the years. She explained that as a dancehall dancer, by the nature of her job, some of her actions are frowned upon. When the latter happens, Dyema says she takes solace in the fact that dance has allowed her a quality of life she is comfortable with.
“I get whole heap a criticism pan the social media, but me nuh really pay it no mind because a dancing put food pan my table, not people or dem comments. Besides, a whole heap a people still love Dyema. Dyema is a jovial person, me give whole heap a joke, me dramatic, and people just love deh round me. The criticism weh gwaan a mostly pan the social media, not in person,” she said.
She continued: “Sometimes me nuh pay it (the criticisms) nuh mind, and me have a next time when me will answer and sometimes me just laugh it off. Me understand say inna diss world a nuh everybody a go like yuh, and so me just know how fi cut and go chu. At the end of the day, me see wah dancing do fi me and dat’s all dat matters.”
Admitting that the job does get challenging, Dyema revealed that she made a promise to use dance to build her brand and she will stop at nothing to fulfil that promise.
“The most challenging part of being a street dancer is that you affi go out late a night and whole heap a night dew ketch yuh. Sometimes yuh dance and get hurt, promoters sometime nuh wah pay yuh, and people style yuh a lot, but no matter what, me nah stop. A whole heap a plans me have fi di future. Me wah open a restaurant name ‘Dyema Spice and Nice’, plus me wah have a clothing store called ‘Dyema, Fashion’, and me just a build the brand through dancing,” she said.