Dancers Paradise : Latonya makes 'Stylish Moves'
Dance choreographer and CEO of Dance Jamaica, Latonya Style, is broadening her scope on dancehall and fashion by introducing trendy leggings launched under her flourishing Stylish Moves brand.
The innovative idea to create stylish leggings was originally fashioned during a camp in Europe that the choreographer and team members participated in back in 2012 that almost immediately expanded into a business.
"The leggings were a part of our uniform, and we had them personalised to promote our team, Dance Jamaica. Every time we wore the leggings, people would query if that piece of our uniform was on sale or ask for information to make purchases," Latonya told THE WEEKEND STAR.
The relationship developed between dance and fashion is not just for the promotion of our culture. Latonya believes that each genre of dance has its own personal style, and to have a brand of dancehall-type dance wear is good for putting the genre in the centre of international attention.
"We are used to seeing hip-hop dancers wearing baggy clothing, but for dancehall, the practitioners of the genre are known for sexy, tight-up clothes and leggings are sexy for dancers," Latonya said.
The initial style of the leggings displayed designs which may have ignited controversy mainly due to the national symbol, the Jamaican flag, being plastered on the wearer's bottom.
But the dancer has discontinued it was for her personal collection and not necessarily for sale, to avoid further debates.
"The idea of wearing the flag means showing that you are proud of it, and even though the design was on my bottom, it was only designed that way because that area is one of the main assets of a Jamaican female's body," Latonya said. "I have travelled to countries and observed the Jamaican flag tattooed all over people's bodies, (so) I thought that issue only related to stepping on the flag."
The creator of the Stylish Moves - a series of signature A-to-Z dance moves, including Above Average, Bruk Out Wine, Clap Yourself, and the popular Pretty Wine, has since designed leggings that include graffiti-type and abstract designs, as well as Jamaican slangs and names of dance moves in attractive colours.
Individuals may even find a few designs with the choreographer's image in black, green and gold braids and attire.
"Over the years, we have tried prints that people may like, and we learnt that people prefer the Jamaican colours, so we have focused on these leggings, and persons can now order new designs and prints with faces." Latonya added.
The limited edition leggings are now available, and the public can request more information on ordering via the Stylish Moves social media pages.
In the meantime, Latonya returns to Europe for the annual tour this November into December to conduct authentic dancehall and Stylish Moves workshops and lectures throughout the region for six weeks.