2022 Red Bull Dance Your Style Jamaica Champion

1. What is your dancer’s name? Tell us the story behind it.

My name is Immortal Joel, the name is derived from the name of my dance group which is ‘Active Immortals’. For us, immortal means to live forever; never die or decay. This is the impact that I always want to leave in the world with dance.

3. What part of Jamaica are you from?

I’m from Old Harbor in St. Catherine.

4. What is your favorite dance style?

My favorite dance style is locally sourced dancehall, but I love all dance styles in the world and try to be very versatile.

5. What’s your favorite old-school Jamaican dance move?

I have a few, I like the Bogle, Zip It Up and Willie Bounce.

6. What’s your new favorite Jamaican dance move?

Thumbs Up, of course, you know I have to drop that one because I’m the creator and I’m really proud of it. I also like Stir Fry, Dirt Bounce, New Dip and Leggo Di Bird They each have a unique energy.

7. At what age did you start dancing and how did you start?

I don’t really have a specific age when I started dancing because I can’t remember myself without it. Dancing has always been part of my life since the day I was born.

8. Where does your love for dancing come from?

My love for dance came from two places – within me and from my father. He’s a music lover and a singer, so I think that’s where my love for dance comes from. Music has always been a passion in my family and dance is the art form that spoke to me.

9. What contributed to your love for dance?

My family, my friends and my dance team – Active Immortals.

10. What does dance mean to you?

Dance means the world to me. Dance is love, joy, pleasure. This is my goal and my strength. Dance is my freedom and it’s my way of life. I dance to live and I live to dance, that’s how deep its meaning is for me.

11. What is your goal in the dance industry?

My love for dance led me to this career path. I believe my purpose in the dance industry is to liberate another generation, so things can be better for them than things were for us. I hope to inspire them, motivate them and show them that it’s more than meets the eye, but that you can live your life.

12. Who are your local and international dance role models and why?

Locally, I would say Bogle, because he was the first dancehall dancer to put us on the map with his dancing. He made an impact on the world and I consider him our dance legend. With Shelly Belly, I grew up watching him dance. He is always full of energy and expression and his talent shows deep love for what he does. Internationally, I would say Michael Jackson and the Twins.

13. Do you have a dance mentor? If so, who? And how did they impact you?

Yes, but he died. My Ninja Immortal teammate has also always cheered me on since I was a kid and still to this day. He inspires me through everything I’ve learned from him and he always pushes me to push my limits so that I can reach the maximum of my abilities.

14. Why do you think dancing is an important part of Jamaican culture?

I think it’s important because it’s our way of life. When you think of Jamaica, you think of dancehall, dance and our music. It has contributed to our culture and brought many people to travel here eager to learn and be a part of it.

15. Why are competitions and platforms like this important in bringing Jamaican culture and Dancehall to the world?

It’s important because they raise awareness of culture, promote it, and help us reach different audiences and grow the community. The more people who recognize dancehall, the more opportunities we will have.

16. What impact do you hope to have on the dance industry and community in Jamaica?

I hope to change the way people see dance. Dancing is not just a hobby, it’s life and livelihood. I want people to be able to see that this can be your full time job and it can bring you great things. Like any other job, it has its challenges and rewards and should be recognized as a professional career.

17. What are your hopes out of this competition?

I want to leave an impact. My goal when I dance is to represent joy and fun, I hope people can see that from me. This contest can also help me to promote myself. I have always dreamed of traveling to share my passion with the world and touch people’s hearts, souls and minds!

18. Are you on a dance team? What is his name and can you tell us a bit more about it?

I’m part of Active Immortals, the group was established in 2014. There are 8 members in the group and we strive to have fun and encourage easy energy that will get the world dancing!

19. What are some of the highlights of your career? (big performances, choreography work for artists, dance on tour etc.)

I have been a Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Grand Stage Winner and School Winner as well as Boom Badda Don Second Place in 2016, Finals Winner in 2017 and the singles winner in 2018. I have worked with Sanjay, Shaggy, Ding Dong, Rebel, Latonya Style, Richie Campbell, Elephant Man, Spice, Konshens and Gage.

20. What kind of music has the most impact on your dance style?

The musical genres that have marked me the most are Dancehall, Reggae, Ska, Rocksteady, Afro, Hip hop and Afro house.

21. Have you ever started a dancer trend or created a dance move or choreography? How did you feel watching the others perform it?

I have created many movements that have been around the world, the most recognized at the moment would be Thumbs Up! Seeing people doing moves that I created gives me an overwhelming feeling. As I see them feeling the same joy and happiness that I felt when I created the movement, it’s the best feeling.

22. Did you encounter any difficulties during your dance career? What do you think could be improved or changed in the dance industry in Jamaica?

Dancehall is often exploited and has a huge influence on today’s music and dance industry, without getting the recognition it deserves. I believe that as dancers and makers in the dancehall community, we need to continue on the path we are currently on, stand up for our culture and continue to support each other and stick together as a unit.

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