How Jamaican Dancehall Queens Twerk For A Living | Style Out There | Refinery29

How Jamaican Dancehall Queens Twerk For A Living | Style Out There | Refinery29

Do you have a signature dance move? Boo, boo boo, boo boo wine, boo. Oh my god! Well, I see that but I don’t even think
I could do that in my dreams. You have to stop it girl, you can do it. It’s a push! I have the equipment, but I don’t have the
manual. Let’s be honest, twerking calls for a specific uniform. Spandex doesn’t leave much to the imagination… But what can clothing that’s meant to expose…
reveal? Jamaica, vacation paradise. 4.3 million people come here to get away. Rich with culture and music, it’s become
a worldwide source of inspiration. But it’s in the poorer neighborhoods of
West Kingston that creative expressions like rocksteady and reggae found their voice. This is Riverton. A neighborhood that’s technically the site of a city dump. It’s also where Dollybody, an aspiring dancer, grew up. So this is where everything first started. Notorious for gang violence, 90 percent of
Riverton’s citizens are unemployed, but Dolly has a marketable skill. Dolly, how does that make you feel when you
hear everybody say you’re a role model? Dolly is part of what’s becoming the country’s
most influential export: dancehall. The source of this global phenomenon is late
night, on Kingston’s streets. It’s fashion, dance, and a party all-in-one. It’s been around since the 70’s, but the
modern scene surrounding it is jaw-dropping. You’ve probably seen the videos online,
and if you haven’t, check this out. Part professional wrestling, part sexual pantomime,
with an equally provocative style. With this increased visibility, dancehall
has become a lightning rod for conversations about empowerment and exploitation. So, what does it mean to put on a pair of booty
shorts… and wine? To her family, she’s Jahnoia. To the world, she’s “Danger”. Dancehall Queen, that’s a big title. That is your whole lifestyle itself. Every move I make, everywhere I go, I want persons to look at me and say, “Wow, this girl, something about her. She must be a dancer.” I am an International Dancehall Queen, people know me for doing a lot of dangerous stunts. Danger won the International Dancehall Competition in 2014. It’s not just bragging rights. Winning it
means you’ve made it. And I guess I have too, because tonight the
queen is taking me out to party. I have a big confession. I cannot dance. At all! Well, the vibe is so contagious. What does it look like, when does it get good? On Sundays you have early events, you want to go there by 10 o’clock. That’s early? Yes. That’s early? Yes, that’s early. 10 o’clock? Ten PM, that’s early. Okay. So is this what you’re wearing tonight? No! I’m not wearing this. Oh, I’m sorry I was gonna say it’s pretty
stunning. Nah. No? It is stunning for now, but not for tonight. As a dancehall queen, Danger gets paid to
travel around the world teaching classes and appearing in music videos. Well my day today is very unpredictable. When I’m in Kingston I go out four to seven times a week because party here is nonstop. I went to my first dancehall party at the age of 14. We were under our mom’s supervision. She knows that we can get a source of income from dancing. I have the perfect job, because I’m doing what I love and I’m making money from it. With her personal appearances, Danger can make up to $800 US dollars a week — three
times what the average Jamaican makes. For Danger, party promo is just another day
at the office. For me, it’s a little different. When I go out in New York, back home, I’m
usually wearing the same exact outfit that I wear during the daytime. I put on some lipstick and maybe put my hair
up. I think that’s it. Wish me luck. We’re heading to Uptown Monday. Dancehall has traditionally been a male space,
with most of the DJ’s and even musical artists being men. But one place they do want women is on the
dancefloor. And that means we get in for free. There are no numbers to call, no coat checks. Follow the reverberating bass to the strip
mall plaza or abandoned parking lot drenched in lasers. Parties here go on every single night of the
week. There’s Mojito Mondays, sexy Tuesdays, and the list goes on. I just ordered two magnum tonic wines. Basically, Viagra…on ice. It’s the unofficial drink of dancehall. Skin tight and revealing, the clothes are provocative. But as the night goes on and the cameras come
out, I can’t help but wonder… what are they provoking? People are pushing the limits, taking every
opportunity to grab the spotlight. And Danger is no exception. As I look on at the scene of late night delirium,
I have to admit, part of me is horrified. Are people having fun? Or are there lines being crossed? I saw a woman get crushed under a person and
get her head rammed into a rail, but then she came out of it smiling and so I’m a
little bit confused. I wish that it could be as simple as changing
my outfit, but I sense I’m going to need more than a tube top to navigate what feels
like mixed messages. What I do know for now is, as an outsider,
the power dynamic on the dance floor is anything but clear. Women in Jamaica face staggering realities. One in three will experience domestic violence. And the country has one of the highest rates
of rape per capita. But how do these statistics connect with the
dynamics on the dance floor? We could talk almost about a culture of rape in Jamaica. We could almost talk about a culture of rape. But we certainly can talk about a culture
of entitlement that men feel in relation to women’s bodies. Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah has written extensively
on the complex history of dancehall and its connection to Jamaica’s larger cultural
landscape. In Jamaica, we prescribe behaviors for women,
prescribe propriety for women, we talk about the virtuous woman, and of course in terms
of gender norms, women couldn’t do what men did. Women couldn’t act in the way that men acted,
and they certainly could not afford to have their reputation sullied. But in dancehall, being a space where you
can recreate yourself allows true empowerment. The fashion worn by women tells us stories. In the same way that the dance moves tell
us stories. A lot of the dance moves seem pretty graphic
and pretty extreme. And sometimes, you know, pretty demeaning
towards women. Someone from outside is always going to see
dancehall in terms of a culture shock. It’s a space with historical baggage that is filled with people who have
been oppressed. Children played a prominent part in Jamaica’s
tribute to the Queen and the Duke… For centuries, Jamaica was a pawn to colonial
powers… Sugar cane has been grown and harvested here
for nearly 300 years. It suffered through slavery, riots, and various
forms of social unrest until its independence from the British in 1962. Reggae became the sound of liberation. But it’s Rasta roots were conservative,
especially when it came to women and sex. People became disillusioned, and began looking
for a different kind of escape. Dancehall’s beats hit harder, lyrics became
X-rated, and the clothing got sexier. Showing off the clothes became a performance –
first as women began modeling, then dancing. It is a really phenomenal thing when a woman can adorn herself in a particular way using dance
moves to become a liberated being. Dancing is everything. Dancing gives you life. If you want to free your mind, you have something that bothers you, once you touch in the dancehall circle, everything just, the burden just comes off of you. It’s 4PM. And Dolly Body is waking up. How I come by the name of Dolly Body, after I give birth to my son, I don’t look like I just have a child. So I was in the club, take a picture, give it a caption. Dolly Body. I just ran with it. And from run with it, it gone. Growing up as one of seven children, life
wasn’t always easy for Dolly and her family. Dancing is her way out. I’m a dancehall dancer, who wants to be a dancehall queen. Take more practicing, a lot more exposure. If you don’t sell yourself you’re not going nowhere. Fashion has to be a part of your game. You have to put yourself together each night. Your fashion has to be on top. Rhinestones and mesh might not seem like everyday
wear. Nia, Dolly’s stylist and photographer, would
disagree. Sexy and dancehall queen is like peanut butter and jelly. She’s promised to get me in touch with my
inner queen. This is a no underwear outfit. Nipples to the wind, basically. Nipples to the wind? Nipples to the wind. The clothing is made to emphasize your body. Oh my god, you can dance in basically anything
then? Exactly. What is the most “Dolly” outfit? You see this outfit? You see Dolly Body. It’s kinda Selena. Impy- skimpy. She’d also wear this. Would you wear it? Would I wear it? Live a little, you’re in Jamaica. This piece was inspired by an overseas designer. They can make it, but we can rock it. Just a little more in touch with our sexy side and we’re not afraid to flaunt it. Would you say that’s the case for all Jamaican
women? Not necessarily, but nowadays it’s becoming more of a trend. Everyone wants to feel their best about themselves. And clothing can do that. You just can’t be a queen without looking… Like a queen. Like a queen. For some reason, I feel more naked in something
like this than in a swimsuit. Come and wow us. Yes! WOW! You feel sexy, don’t you? I do. You feel sexy, right? I really do. This is definitely outside my comfort zone. It is. But you look good. Strike a pose Connie, strike a pose. Yeah, I love the pose! A defining part about my style is clothes
that don’t show off my body and I always like to think it’s something I chose. Your butt looks great Connie. Thank you. But part of that might be that I’m actually
not that comfortable with my body, and shopping with Dolly just now made that very clear to me. I feel like this is kind of like a figure
skater look too. Like Connie on ice. In the U.S., people tip toe around the idea
of “going out clothes”. It’s understood that the look should be
sexy and attractive, but it can’t be too sexy or too attractive — there’s an invisible
line that women are constantly negotiating. At dancehall parties, that line just doesn’t
exist. Sexuality is a given. The racy fashion becomes a source of confidence,
not a hurdle. For Dolly, the tiny tops and shorts are a
way to show off her personality, and elicit confidence. But in a patriarchal society, dressing sexy can also be lucrative. In Daniiboo’s life, sex sells. Of course, I love dancing. Twerking and dancing, and I am very flexible. That’s my thing. Daniiboo is part of a new generation of dancers. She’s using social media to get the attention
you would normally get from a competition. With 400 thousand followers on Instagram,
it’s working. What makes a video go viral? Skins. No lie. No jokes. I get more views when I post videos
in booty shorts. But there’s another secret to her success. My manager is also my videographer. Where capturing content is concerned, it’s
more professional. He’s also her boyfriend. He and Daniiboo met on the dance floor. All of this trust came before everything. He is my partner, not just my manager. We’re dating. When someone mentions dancehall, they should
think about Daniiboo. She has a special gift and she’s all natural. And she has great assets. Right? So depending on the shot… Well, I’m a guy, so I know what guys are
looking for. I know sexy shots. It’s interesting for me to sit here and
hear them speak so frankly about using sex to increase her exposure. But Daniiboo insists that she has found success
in taking control of her own image. When she’s busy, she can make up to 900
US dollars a week. This is all of Kingston! Yes, beautiful! And as I overlook the city from one of its
most exclusive neighborhoods, I can’t disagree. If you had one piece of advice for a young
woman who wants to make a name for herself in the dancehall, what would that be? You have to stand for something or you’re
going to fall for everything. You’ve got to be serious. If you’re not serious, you have to make
them take you serious. My dream about my career is I move from the ghetto. There is hope in being a dancer. You have to know your potential, know your worth. Know how to go about getting what you want. You have to put yourself out there. Ta-daaaa! Action! It’s a little subtle. I mean, it’s a skin tight bodysuit, and I’m calling it subtle, but now that I’ve
seen dancehall, my world has changed. It’s like if Lance Armstrong went a little
bit goth. Dancehall is a mirror of the Jamaican society. It reflects absolutely who we are as a people. Some of that is negative and some of that
is positive. Dancehall can be seen as a space of exaggeration. It’s going to show you to yourself. Dolly! I tried tonight, I turned it up. Dancehall women have made really important
strides in terms of determining the ways in which we have to give up the boundaries, we
have to think outside of the box. Dancehall is a space to play with the rules or make up your own, with a support system behind you. When I’m dancing it’s a great feeling. I love the feeling. That’s my city and I’m the superwoman in the
city right there in the dancehall and imma save the day. In dancehall, women are fearless. Women are superhuman. Inventive, hilarious, and sexy. Like when when I’m in the party, I feel amazing. It kicks off and the love and the support is real. By learning to have complete control over
their bodies and what it can do, by learning how to negotiate with men on their own terms and monetize their passions, women are more
empowered to confront men who believe that they don’t deserve respect. We are queens, we are bold. We are not afraid to go out there to do what we want, to demand what we want and to live how we want, and represent women all over the world and to let them know that it’s okay to be yourself and don’t be afraid, don’t hold back. Ladies, turn it up!

Antonio Breitenberg

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100 thoughts on “How Jamaican Dancehall Queens Twerk For A Living | Style Out There | Refinery29

  1. Refinery29 says:

    Do you think dancehall culture empowers women? Share your opinions with us below!

  2. Cathrina Andrus says:

    When women get in for free, its because women are the product. Dancing is expressive and empowering, but not in that kind of environment. Watching this video made me physically ill, seeing what these wonderful women have to tollerate and accept in order for them and thier skills be recognized. It most certainly does have a culture of rape, but that is not all that the dance hall culture is or represents. I can only hope that these women who have gained an influence are able help all women gain repect.

  3. James Gamble says:


  4. James Gamble says:

    The gift they have was given in the book of Enoch by The watchers so have fun while you can.

  5. imanii moore says:

    jamamican girls are disgusting
    they should be focus on cleaning up that horrible hood
    instead of fanning all that fufu funk

  6. Brian Manning says:

    3 times higher wages , compared to 90 percent of all Jamaicans . That's the real Boyz , take notes . On that flip a side . N adouble soda. Sheeeze plezin when shakeen

  7. Brian Manning says:

    I saw a woman get crushed under a person , and head rammed into a rail . ( She came out smiling ). Says the reporter . This is what she says Mon.

  8. natalie milford says:

    No twerk… bumpa it name… a long we a do bumpa🔥🔥 lololol🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲

  9. Petti LaBelle says:

    As a Jamaican im horrified tf

  10. Free Spirit SLH says:

    I'm glad I do not live there .I guess there dancing parties gets them to have fun but I wouldn't consider that fun but to each there own .

  11. INDIAN REVIEWS says:

    I love when I see a gal twerking

  12. gacha hell says:

    I wish i was slim thick like them

  13. CallMii Garnet says:

    Now what y'all should do is talk about the culture of New Orleans Bounce !! 🗣️

  14. joanne mccloud says:

    Damn dolly body needs a hotter wig me like she tho

  15. Black Gypsy says:

    All that effort and degradation and they appear to be living just like everyone else. If you are going to submit to exploitation at least use the proceeds to lift yourself up out of poverty.

  16. injured soul says:

    Thank you this was very informative. But omg as someone who won't shut up about women empowerment, the INTENSE DRY HUMPING part was mortifying to me. It's beyond demeaning.

  17. R1_Rebe1 says:

    They don’t twerk. They wrestle for the championship belt.

  18. Michael Johnson says:

    for the culture 🇯🇲🔥

  19. BEAUTiFUL Hebrew Israelite says:

    Too fucking Ruff for my body…dont ram my head going crazy.. Mine is for the bed room my man only

  20. wilton griffin says:

    Home girls wig hair is driving me crazy it looks sooooooo silly in the front. Sheesh. How he stylist allow her to look like that lol

  21. SALIHAH BROWN says:

    If I had a ass like that

  22. TheScentofSunflowers says:

    “Live a little.”

  23. John Cheeks says:

    Invested in her education and purchase a dance Hall to be an instructor

  24. Understandingitall says:

    I have a thing for this!!!! Secretly, I want to learn how!!!
    And that lady at 1:58…speechless!!!
    If it makes you feel good, go for it!!

  25. Geneiveve says:

    It looks wild and uncivilized. Overly sexual.

  26. Shaddae Lewis says:

    I so love refinery 29 and to know you are in my country. I love the interviewer

  27. 7нe.Black. Gøddess says:

    4:50 I cant get over her teeth

  28. JJ the boss says:

    Oh yeahhh

  29. Kimberly Yusay says:

    Connie is so funny!

  30. Lena Shakur says:

    Good gyal Connie 🔥 lol I love Dani Boo and Dolly Body ❤️

  31. Bts_kpop0507army says:

    One of my bff is Jamaican

  32. Livin To me says:


  33. just sadmin says:

    6:40 omg

  34. toya adams says:

    How can I switch my New Yawk accent, to Tat Sexy ''Ja-Mak-Con'' Accent…I Fuk'n Love the way they Tawk…

  35. MrJojo8675309 says:

    Is this proof, that people are not all "equal"?

  36. Prarthana Perera says:

    Dani dances in Charlie Black's mvs

  37. Anxiety In Space says:

    This is not something that should be looked up to and idolized.

  38. user00112 says:

    what song a 7:00?

  39. Krampo says:

    I’m gonna barf now.

  40. Donte Hylton says:

    Jamaica has alot of employed people ur just not going to the right parishes

  41. Mind YourOwn says:

    Dancehall is only empowering and fun when these women get creative with their outfits and routines and compete in competitions. But the mess they do at the clubs with letting the men objectifying them is NOT empowering and very degrading to the women.

  42. AQUA MARIN says:


  43. Michelle A says:

    I think this is rape! Men dancing on these women in a way that’s unacceptable

  44. Chris M says:

    I wouldn’t call them dancers I call them sex in public with clothes on of course these women will get rapped.

  45. marbellsgd Jrny says:

    Jauh di lubuh para wanita itu pasti ingin di hormati, namun sebelum di hormati, selayaknya diapun harus menghormati dirinya sendiri, sediiih sih mereka jadi dancer karna engga punya pilihan lain untuk hidup, di grepe, dengan pose2 sex kaya gituh

  46. Teresa B says:

    Too much

  47. Denzel Heden says:

    Satan still ruling the earth lol

  48. BTS Army forever says:

    7:00 ……wtf….

  49. rlp230 says:

    I'd love to see the dancehall space ONLY for women. The men absolutely ruin the space

  50. Belabbes Meriem says:

    i don't think that is dancing at all , like it pretty cool when the girls dance but when men come up it just so wild and cringy to see . i don't think dancehall empowers women that much there is other stuff that empowers them more than being treated like that , but if they like it and make them feel powerful than who are we to judge them !

  51. Şeker Mavi says:

    Women have sensitive bodies. Men cant handle them like that! They would get murdered in my country. This is violence!

  52. sg500 says:

    I'm thinking the asian girl swerved us all because she was turned way up at the end for someone thats modest and can't dance.

  53. Britt Britt says:

    Can watch this so many times

  54. Christina Gallimore says:


  55. MAD MAX says:


  56. Antonio Montgomery says:

    This dont seem empowering to me🤔
    Seems like bunch of free spirted drunk girls partying and making money off thirsty horny guys

  57. Adrienne Parra says:

    Thank you for this video! It's gonna help so much with my thesis paper! <3

  58. Luknė Šeferytė says:

    Hmmm… Big rape number you say. Im sorry but isnt it provoking… No one deserves it but it's still kind of, you know. In this case

  59. Beautifully Mastered says:

    Watched the whole video: To be honest I can see where it is liberating as well as degrading based on how some of the men treat the women….I can see both views but my ultimate wish is that these women can get the money they need to do what they want!

  60. bmore 25 says:

    I would date that beautiful jamican woman

  61. keeping up with Osinachi says:

    This is just shameful, and belittling to women

  62. Elisabetta Epiney says:


  63. Bonified Good says:

    They need to invest in some new wigs!

  64. kawiiunicorn xoxo says:

    Look at all those girls with big butts while I have a cardboard flat ass

  65. This my last One Yall says:

    Lol "I have the equipment, but I don't have the manual"

  66. Super Shepherd says:

    Women dancing, being sexy, embracing their bodies, that is amazing. But the way the men just grab them, throw them around, ram them into walls, that bothers me.

  67. Soraya #BlackSectorHistorian says:

    Vanessa so true. Just 30 years ago those guys would have gotten a box upside the head. This dry humping became common after the porn explosion of the late 1990s.

  68. July Rain says:

    Lol the thumbnail is ratchet af

  69. Ebo J. says:

    I really appreciated learning more about dancehall from this perspective. It as good to just focus on the video.

  70. Minh Sen says:

    Excellent video! I loved the women, but it made me feel oddly sad that this is what they aspire to.

  71. christine van kammen says:

    Shame on how the men behaved, the girls should have better boundaries.

  72. Bossbabe TV says:

    This bitch said size of a city dump?

  73. Lil Xø says:

    This is just degrading these women

  74. XiLovinxqiX says:

    Yasss where my Jamaicans at

  75. Lenise Pryce says:

    I loveeee ittttt❤️🇯🇲🇹🇹

  76. TOMY TB says:


  77. Nini Mf says:

    I have the equipment but I don’t have the manual 😂

  78. Say Hi says:

    Ridiculous, no self respect. I'm sorry but it's time to tell the truth about this stuff lol

  79. Angelina Singh says:

    I talk just like those dudes but ……………………………………… …. .worse😂😂

  80. Oski Haddad says:

    That professor lady is taking bulls hit empowering women by dancing sexualy and men grabbing them this is rubbish

  81. Young Heros says:

    “ I have the equipment I just don’t have the manual” 😂😂😂🤣

  82. Black Queen says:

    Weh me yawdie dem deh🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲👀‼️

  83. Remi Branchotto says:

    this is crazy and sick.

  84. Guinnevere’s Chronicles says:

    I’m sorry but how does shaking your ass while men groping you like wild hungry pack wolves empowerment? Not being rude here, I love dance hall as a music genre, but as a dance I see it as pretty demeaning. But dance in general is a beautiful thing, it’s amazing

  85. Britt Lonsdale says:

    "if Lance Armstrong went a little bit goth" 😂

  86. Musab Othman says:

    Erthing men needs as in cultural?!!!! Man I may need to travel to Jamaica😝

  87. Brenda Mpangah says:

    The way men treated those ladies , if it was here in east Africa , our ancestors would punish us with na rain for a decade so we can repent already,

  88. Moses tun says:

    “Live a little, you’re in Jamaica” iconic

  89. Linda justin says:

    Dancing ain't bad if they bring food on the table but the men need to get to some point the ladies need to have limits the men actually cross extreme boundaries
    So sad for the ladies there😢

  90. Sar says:

    I am Jamaican and I am in shock…….lol

  91. Dylan Cruz-Tillery says:

    This is what I call a pop out

  92. Tryhard Teen says:

    Wha da gal ya tink she a da dog

  93. Tryhard Teen says:

    Ga party an chia dance

  94. Tryhard Teen says:

    Wha di rass klat

  95. kaaa111 says:

    I dont like it!

  96. David Omato says:

    It demeans the women all the more. Humping to hard music while spreading the extremeties to cameras and the public is empowering? It is the prostitution that we enjoy as carnal beings

  97. Jingzhi Wang says:

    I came to this video after watching the newest rap video "Yes!"

  98. Two cups of coffee please says:

    Looking like the #metoo movement missed, Jamaica.

  99. Grizzly Country says:

    This has got to be in the top 10 list for dumbest videos on YouTube. What's next…bucket drummers?

  100. TRUE NATION says:

    Dollyquen is pretty…..subscribe to my channel and enjoy seeing AFRICAN GIRLS TWERKING ……………………………

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