Adrian Frater - A contestant does her version of the Dutty Wine at the Red Label Wine-sponsored International Dancehall Queen Competition at the Pier One Complex in Montego Bay recenty.
by Claudine Housen, Staff Reporter
Amid calls for the Dutty Wine to be cut from stage shows, promoters are saying that they will not support any calls to ban the dance.
"People dance how they want to dance, our precautions are for the general public safety, (however) individuals are free to express themselves," said FAME Road Party personality Francois St. Juste.
"The suggestion out of all of this is that maybe there should be a Dutty Wine police walking around the parties stopping the people from doing the Dutty Wine (but) there is not anything that we are going to be doing about it at this time," he said.
A controversial dance almost since it gained prominence on the dance hall scene, the Dutty Wine again took centre stage when fresh concerns emerged about its safety after an 18-year-old St. Catherine woman collapsed while doing the dance on Sunday.
Reports are that the teen, Tanisha Henry, was attending a 'school uniform' party at Beacon Hill, Thompson Pen, when at about four o' clock Sunday morning, while doing the popular dance, she collapsed. She was then rushed to the nearby Spanish Town Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Noting that there are risks involved in the manipulation of the neck, which is a key element of this dance, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Link 92 Fm, in Westmoreland, Roger Allen, maintains that the responsibility lies with the individuals themselves.
He said that Dutty Wine competitions have occurred at a number of their roadshows and that they have no plans to stop persons from doing the dance.
"The Dutty Wine contests that we have been a part of are for adults and adults should be given the choice to decide if they want to participate in something that is dangerous for them or not," he said.
"If we take away everything that people enjoy, life is going to be extremely boring so they should decide if they want to do it or not."