Dancers' Paradise : Don't hate, collaborate says Crazy Hype
Some members of the Jamaican dance community have for sometime chastised European dancers for copying their dance moves without giving credit to the creators.
However according to veteran dancer Crazy Hype, instead of chastising Europeans, local dancers should learn to network with foreign dancers in order to tap into their audience.
Crazy Hype says racism is a big factor which has hampered the rise of local dancers overseas. However, if a dancer finds himself/herself in the right European company, upward mobility is almost inevitable.
Crazy Hype's European dance partner, Laure Courtellemont, has received backlash from some Jamaican dancers, because she called her dancehall dance routines ragga jam.
However, Crazy Hype says Laure loves Jamaican culture and warns local dancers against being narrow minded.
"We pree too small-minded-big woman thing! The Jamaican dancers are able to travel and teach right now because the European dancers created a market for it. When I go overseas I always mention local dancers and the cycle continues because they get bookings from that. Ragga jam broke into the market in Europe and also helped to pull attention to dancehall dance moves," he said.
Crazy Hype added: "We were in Jamaica as dancers hungry and not touring, so when we start tap into Europe by merging with head figures in the Europe, it benefits our culture."
As for dancers who feel that Europeans like Laure are stealing their audience, Crazy Hype begged to differ.
"She is a woman who has worked to build her name for years. We got accepted in the Europe market to teach, so we can't go there to start a war ... the biggest stages, that dancehall has been on in Europe, she is the one that put it there," he said.
The dancer said Jamaican dancers do not have the financial and commercial backing to bring dancehall's style of dancing to the world on a global stage.
"We as local dancers cannot take the dancehall routines to the highest level by ourselves, plus we are black people. Bob Marley needed Chris Blackwell ... some people in Europe don't even know the culture behind dancehall," he said.
Crazy Hype recalled that he has fought for the culture by letting local dancers know that Europeans can't 'create' dancehall because it is a Jamaican product.
"Same like how China can't make Gucci Belt, they can't make authentic dancehall moves. However we can't bash dem and shun dem; we have to teach them because we can benefit more from an alliance than a separation," he said.
Crazy Hype is also a founding member of M.O.B dance group.