Students at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia, Canada can now enrol in a Dancehall course being offered at the institution.
The course is called “FPA 120: Introduction to Dance Forms: Contemporary and Popular Subject: Dancehall History and Fundamentals,” and is being taught by famous Jamaican-born dancer and choreographer Mikhail Morris at the university’s campus in Vancouver.
SFU recently made the announced on the school’s official website, “Often associated with “low-culture” due to historical political tensions in Jamaica, it has been a challenge for the dance to gain acceptance as a true and valid cultural art form,” they wrote. “Thus, for SFU to have created an actual course that teaches the history and fundamentals of dancehall is a huge step in the right direction. There are very few university institutions that have this kind of programming available for their students.”
According to Morris, he created the course to help students understand the historical factors that inspired the creation of reggae and dancehall music and culture in Jamaica from decades ago to now. The course which is comprised of a combination of dancing and theory will overall help students understand Jamaican culture which is heavily influenced by reggae/dancehall music. Students will also get to learn popular dancehall dance moves and practice the steps, as well as, listen to the music to more understand and contextualize the lyrics.