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  • Janice

Choreographer: Margaret Archibong

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

My name is Margaret, I'm 21 and in my final year of a Politics Degree. As a British-born Nigerian, I have grown up between cultures. In some sense it has created frictions in my life. Nonetheless, it is great that I can embrace both British and Nigerian cultures and have this dual identity.

Margaret performing in her own self-choreographed dance at the Kent Dance Annual Show 2018.

I took up an interest in hip-hop dance when I was 9, and during secondary school it was a hobby that my friends and I bonded over. We would choreograph for and perform at our annual gym and dance show.

Margaret performing with the hiphop class at the Kent Dance Fusion Show 2019.

As my friends were also Nigerian, we would incorporate African dance into our hiphop pieces or even choreograph African dances - this would comprise of dance moves we'd see online or on tv in African music videos. We have our distinctive traditional dances from our tribes - I am Ibibio and Efik - and we also have Afrobeats dances that were emerging during this time - the Azonto, Shoki, Shaku Shaku etc.

Margaret and her friends performing a dance they choreographed.

Margaret traditional dancing at an Ibibio event.

I think that with a lot of African dances, you tend to learn as you go along - there are always new dance trends popping up and you tend to teach yourself dance and make them your own. In this day and age, there are more and more people teaching Afrobeats as a dance style, but this was not the case when we were growing up. It is nice to see my culture represented more in mainstream dance.

Dance has been an important part of my life and I have been able to combine my passion with my heritage through African dance. It is important for me to showcase this aspect of my culture because it is what defines me; past, present and future. It is something I can engage in and feel proud of.

Written by Margaret Archibong.

Margaret & I

I guess it could be said that prior to this collaboration for my film, Margaret and I have already had an established friendship. We’ve danced and performed together before in previous dance shows. Furthermore, she was one of my dancers was the dance I had choreographed two years ago where she was completely new to both the styles I was incorporating into my dance.

Margaret as a dancer in my dance, 'Red Rose'.

(All performance images were sourced from the Kent Dance Facebook page, and videos were from Margaret Archibong).

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