Dancers' Paradise: Latonya Styles spreads wings to Europe
Dancer, choreographer, and businesswoman Latonya Styles is gearing up for her winter tour, which will see her performing and teaching dance classes in more than 17 cities across Europe.
This is by no means the first tour for the veteran dancer, however, this attempt sees the cultural ambassador spreading her wings to promote dancehall in places even further away from Caribbean waters.
"I am currently in Germany, and this is my fifth tour of Europe. It's growing because in 2012, I went to about seven countries and now it has doubled. For the brand, it is a good look and it shows that people are respecting the source and roots of authentic dancehall coming from Jamaica, and they are willing to learn from the creators of the many steps which they are doing," she said.
The head lady at Dance Ja also disclosed that while on tour, she will be directing her focus to two main styles of dancing.
"I have two brands that I will be promoting and that's the authentic dancehall brand coming from Dance Ja, which is like old school, middle school, and even traditional school like ska and steps created from the streets from Bogle, John Hype, and my brand of Stylish Moves," she said.
"Stylish Moves is dancehall with a touch of class and confidence. A lot of the bookings I receive come from women because probably 99 per cent of the people who dance in Europe are women. They want more of the female style, and I am the one who is creating a lot of steps. This is the perfect market for that aspect of dance culture," Styles said.
The dancer, who also picked Japan as her favourite place to tour due to its diversity, technology and environment, told Dancers' Paradise that some countries have managed to deliver a dancehall experience at their events which is reminiscent of the actual cultural display in Jamaica.
Although bookings for dance-related performances have declined over the years, she said the market has opened for teaching, which carries less money.
"Teaching basically comes from having an Internet presence because they are already so far away from us. So, once you have a huge Internet presence you can get teaching tours. What would be nice is if the artistes that are doing dance songs can bring the dancers on tour. I see Spice doing it and Razor B, as well as Charly Black," Styles said.