A dance competition dubbed 'Byina Rwanda' was launched on January 29, to identify talent, sharpen skills, promote dance and give platforms for young people to buy talent-novate and better themselves through job creation in arts and creative business.
Themed 'Move', 'Groove' and 'Prove', the competition is an initiative by RG-Consult Inc, a creative business consultancy that enhances brands and event's organisers in Rwanda.
According to Remmy Lubega, the Chief Executive Officer of RG, the dance categories are in three parts mainly: Traditional Cultural Dance Category, which will involve all the eight traditional cultural dances of Rwanda and can be done by solo, duos, or groups.
The Contemporary Creative Dance Category is a fusion of Afro traditional dance styles and modern, classic and urban dances. It can also be performed in solo, duets, trios or groups, while the Urban and Modern Dance Category is a composition that will highlight dance styles such as, Breakdance, Afrobeat, Rumba, Kizomba, Ballroom dances - Latino, Lambada, Chachacha, Zouk and ballet.
"The talent is here and Africa is full of them but we don't have a vision on how to monetize it, promote and create jobs," Lubega said.
He added: "The number of jobs this industry of dance can create is enormous: costumes, fashionistas, choreographers, makeup artists, producers, and more importantly, the film industry needs it. There is no wedding ceremony you attend and there is no cultural troupe which means dance is an integral part of the society. Therefore, grooming and nurturing it should be at the forefront, encouraging the sector and transforming the young people's lives through promoting their talents."
How to participate
Lubega said a date for participants, 18 years and above, to upload a short video clip of 90 secs showcasing their skills will be announced. Participants will be required to fill out an online entry form, put credentials, and the region that will be auditioned from at a provincial level.
The submitted entries will undergo a pre-selection through an academy and successful participants will be shortlisted online to appear for the day of audition at the province.
Each province will offer the best of each of the three categories making a total number of 15 finalists that will be taken into a Bootcamp. While there they will receive training, coaching, and skills in different entrepreneurships disciplines.
A grand finale event will be staged in Kigali city whereby the finalists will fight for assorted prizes through a popular vote and a panel of professional dance.
"The top participants in each category will receive a category cash prize of Rwf5 million each. The overall winner will be awarded a package, which includes a fully furnished dance studio in a premium location rent-free for a year, valued at Rwf10 million. Additionally, the winner will receive a monthly allowance of Rwf500, 000, totaling Rwf6 million for one year, in addition to the dance studio."
Nadia Bianca Uwase, a video vixen and choreographer, said this is a good opportunity as it will give dancers a chance to showcase our dance talent and will help us improve the sector in Rwanda.
She said: "We've eagerly awaited acknowledgement for the promotion of the dance sector, and it's finally here. We anticipate it rising higher and being valued as dancers."
She noted: "Dance is a precious art used in various contexts; however, it has long been overlooked and undervalued. I am eager to participate - an opportunity I wouldn't miss of course."
Saidath Uwase better known as 'Saddie Vybez' who echoed similar sentiments said she is so excited mostly about people's performances and how they will showcase their talents.
"I am a dancer, artist and choreographer. I love to see arts in any form; therefore, I cannot wait to see what is going to come out of it because this is a good opportunity for all Rwandans dancers," she said.