Dancers' Paradise: DHQ Aga comes alive with dancehall
Originally from Poland, Agnieszka Bialon, known popularly as Aga, said she practised other forms of dance, including salsa, but it was not until she discovered dancehall that she decided dance was a career she wanted to pursue.
“When I discovered dancehall, I came alive. Poland does not have its own dance culture, maybe old-time moves but nothing modern, and every style is adapted from other countries,” Aga said. “I was watching the Dancehall Queen of Poland, Afro, on television and was immediately impressed and motivated to try it out. A few months later, I went to her open class and loved it.”
Her biggest dream was to explore where the genre originated. In 2012, she visited Jamaica and has tried to return every year since.
She said, “The street parties are fun … I love dancehall, I love the space, the music and vibes, and the fact that everybody is always dancing. I try to do as much of that here. Actually, back home, I don’t go out at all. It’s not fun to dance to different types of music there.”
Aga entered her first dance championships in 2015, the Slavic Dancehall Queen (DHQ) competition.
She also won the Queens on Top Poland DHQ eliminations in 2018 and represented the country in the European leg of the competition later that year in Portugal in which she was successful. This enabled her to wear the official title of DHQ Aga.
She is the star dancer in the music video for Bouncin’ (Movin), a collaboration between Californian hip hop artiste Pure Powers and Sizzla Kalonji, released four months ago, and can also be seen dancing up a storm in Yuzimme Yard Mix by Ding Dong and Stylo G in 2017.
She can be found in Kingston at events such as Whappinz Thursdays.
“People may think I can’t (match their skills), but I have made it a habit not to dance when too many girls are on the dancehall or when the vibe is too crazy,” she said. “I also want to pay respect to Jamaican dancers, and if dancehall is a style that originated in Jamaica, of course I believe we should leave the making of the moves to them. I have nothing against Europeans who create, but it is best and more authentic if created by those here.”