Arts·The Move

To 9-year-old Izzy Watson, dance is a blessing — and he's ready to spread the gospel of Dancehall

He wants everyone to share in the feeling of exuberance that dancing gives him.

He wants everyone to share in the feeling of exuberance that dancing gives him

Dance runs in Izzy Watson's family — he can remember dancing with his older sisters when he was as young as four years old. Now, at nine, he's already schooling future generations on the art of Dancehall.

Last season on The Move, choreographer Edz introduced us to two iconic Dancehall moves: "Back to Basics" and "Easy Does It." In this episode, Izzy takes it one further, grooving us through three more of the genre's popular moves — Nuh Linga, Gwara Gwara, and Fling Yuh Shoulda — that you can bust out at your next house (or Zoom) party.

Rooted in the African diaspora, born in Jamaica, and shared with the world, Dancehall is a style of dance, music, fashion, and culture all its own. Izzy was introduced to it by his family, and he's a firm believer that anyone can and should do it because of how it makes him feel.

"When I dance, I just can't stop feeling nice. It's like an angel just rained down on you and then is giving you a blessing."

After watching him spread the gospel in his exuberant performance, it's clear to see that the future of Dancehall is in good hands.

The Move 3: Kids features performances from nine of the most incredible young dancers in Canada. Find out more and stream the full series now on CBC Gem.

About the Author

Lucius Dechausay is a video producer at CBC Arts, as well as a freelance illustrator and filmmaker. His short films and animations have been screened at a number of festivals including The Toronto International Film Festival and Hot Docs. Most recently he directed KETTLE, which is currently streaming at CBC Short Docs.

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