Since I arrived in Ghana there has been one dance craze that has dominated the music scene. Music is even made specifically for the dance. It’s called azonto, and most Ghanaians can barely remember what popular dancing looked like before it. There’s a bit of controversy over the origins of the dance. Guys in Tema and guys in Accra both claim to have started it. Formerly it was in the form of dirty dancing, but not known as azonto until the artist Sarkodie’s song ‘You Go Kill Me.’ Sarkodie is originally from Tema, but the guys in Ashiama originally did the dirty dancing, which is a part of Accra. The dispute has yet to be settled, but all agree that azonto’s roots are 100% Ghanaian. It has since evolved away from dirty dancing, and is mainly danced solo. It is so mainstream that it is even danced in churches. Because of the type of moves involved in azonto, it can be adapted to almost any type of music beyond just those created as part of the dance craze. There is also certainly an attitude involved in dancing azonto, from facial expressions to a message one might want to send, such as a guy asking a girl to dance with him. The craze even spread beyond Ghanaian borders to countries with a strong Ghanaian presence, such as the UK. While I was in Ethiopia, I met a girl at our hotel in Addis Ababa who asked me if I knew how to azonto when she found out that I was living in Ghana. I was so surprised!
I am proud to say that I have mastered a fair share of azonto moves myself and immensely enjoy the music associated with it as well. Here are some videos of dancers and the musicians showcasing the moves and the music: