Maltina Dance All season 6 performers
Another Maltina Dance All season unfurls a delightful display of determination and creativity, writes Adaeze Anaekwe
Nigerians are again being treated to some exciting dance steps as Season Six of the popular Maltina Dance All (MDA) family reality television show started airing across the country on September 2. The show, which is sponsored by Maltina, a premium non-alcoholic malt brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc has for the last six years been providing the platform to train Nigerian families in the art of dancing. One unique feature of this year’s edition is the introduction of the “gumboot dance,” an African dance performed by dancers in South Africa wearing the Wellington boots, more commonly called gumboots.
Gumboot dancing was conceived by black miners in South Africa as an alternative to drumming which authorities restricted. The dance has now become a world known dance with the boots worn because of the often flooded gold mines in which men otherwise stood in knee-deep water toiling at their work stations.
Season Six of the competition opened with regional auditions in Abuja, Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Ibadan, Benin and Lagos. The first day of the two day auditions were used to reward consumers from ages five to sixty, while the second day is usually set aside to select individual family representatives who will perform with their family, and if they meet all the necessary medical requirements of fitness are admitted into the Maltina Academy where they will compete with ten other families for the grand prize.
The essence of the show is to lay credence on the creative and intellectual bent of the art of dancing. To this end, the brand goes the extra mile to bring both local and foreign based professional and intellectual dancers to train the ten families that make it into the Maltina Academy every year. They attend lectures and are taken through such courses as the “Art of Choreography,” “Basics of Salsa” etc aimed at sharpening their dancing and intellectual capabilities. This year, Wazobia, Salsa, Pantomime, Hip-Hop, Gumboot and Contemporary African dance are the dances featured.
Mrs. Ngozi Nkwoji, Senior Brand Manager, Maltina said they undertook the journey because the brand’s story has always been the story of the Nigerian family and the values of friendship, trust, togetherness, sharing of happiness and faithfulness within the family. “It is all about bringing the entire family together in an atmosphere of friendship and bonding with other families so that as units they can share common problems and ideas effectively throughout their time at the Academy and beyond,” she explained. “We are very passionate about the family institution and we will do our best as a responsible corporate entity to ensure that the institution continues to remain relevant - because a healthy and sound family system will resonate on the Nation as a whole - as the family unit is the bedrock of any society.”
She stressed that Maltina is interested in equipping both parents and their children that come to the Academy to be relevant to the society they are moving into. “Our motive is to equip them effectively to confront and proffer solutions to some of the everyday challenges we face in life and for them to use what they learn in the Academy to help other families in the society, and what better way to do it than through dance which is a concept that transcends tribe, religion, culture and what have you. Dancing has the capacity of drawing people together”
The MDA which is the foremost experiential and sponsorship platform of the Maltina brand is renowned for promoting and enhancing family values and bonding between different families from different cultures across the country.
On why the brand chose dance as its consumer engagement platform, Mrs. Nkwoji said dancing is a creative form of expression that transcends boundaries and it is also an art that almost everybody enjoys. She stated that this was the main reason the recently concluded auditions was done in such a way that all consumers of the brand benefited through winning prizes or making it into the Academy. “Whatever we do is based on consumer research, it is what the consumers want, that they get. We are very passionate about our consumers and we want them to have unlimited fun, especially at the family level which is the bedrock of the society.”
In view of this Mrs. Nkwoji stated that, the overall prize money was raised this year as a result of making this year’s competition “The most spectacular Maltina Dance All ever”. The overall winning family will now take home N6Million cash in addition to a brand new car. The first and second runners up will go home with N1million and N500, 000 respectively.”
Just as the MDA is about family bonding and inculcating family values, the medium of dancing provides a way of sharing with other people and improving the social life of individuals. Mrs. Nkwoji added that dancing is a creative form of expression that transcends boundaries and cultures and is an art that people have come to appreciate. To this end, the brand is very passionate about the consumers and has chosen to resonate with them especially at the family level which is the bedrock of the society thereby encouraging them to share values, ethics and happiness.
After the regional auditions and series of screening, the winners were whittled down to fifteen and were invited to an intense and grueling boot camp. At the end of the day, the 10 lucky families that eventually made it to the famous Maltina Dance Academy are, The Boyle Family, Green Family, Amilo Family, Efiokwu Family, Eghove Family, Nwogwugwu Family, Okasia Family, Onyebuagu Family, Zibe Family and the Ozurumba Family. These 10 families, would slug it out for the grand prize as well as the fame which comes with being Nigeria’s number one dancing family.However, the Nwogwugwu, Ozurumba families have been evicted from the show.
Maltina has over the years assembled some of the best dance instructors to train the families each year. The 2012 instructors include: Victor Phullu, an expert in Nigerian dances, Gbenga Yusuf and Lillian Yeri, experts in Salsa. Michael Adegoke, Three time United States Professional Showdance champion and worldwide professional ballroom showdancer; Janell Burgess, performing artist, choreographer, instructor and dancer and Muyiwa Oshinaike, a 30 year veteran of Nigerian dance and culture.
In one of the dances, they were introduced to the art of choreography classes taken by Bimbo Obafunwa, the dance director. He explained that the art of choreography was about how to put on a dance face regardless of the dance styles performing and learn how to work with dance, space, precision and so many other elements that make up a fantastic and exceptional dance routine.
Speaking on what they were thought, Ifeoma of the Efiokwu family said she learnt the six basic principles of dance which involves actions, body parts, presence, dynamics, relationships and space. Michael Okasia said with all he had learnt in the class he will use to improve his family’s performance.
Victor Phullu, a veteran dancer and trainer later introduced the families to three Wazobia dance styles, koroso dance style from Kano State, Bata dance style from Oyo State, and Egwuiba from Delta state similar to Atilogu dance style from Igboland, but with its own phase.
Some past winners have benefited from the MDA platform. A case in point is Ukalina Opuwari of the Opuwari family that won the 2008 edition of the show. Ukalina, with the assistance of Maltina enlisted at the Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN) and has become the first female Nigerian to be certified in Latin/Ballroom by the IDSF/IDAT in Beirut, Lebanon. Such is the importance that the brand attaches to the development of dancing in Nigeria using the family system as an avenue to achieve this noble objective.
The MDA Season six will climax with a spectacular show at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos on September 22.