A derivative of the Apaa dance of the Ga ethnic group in Ghana, Azonto has recently blown up on the world stage. It is a dance based on simple footwork and creative gesturing. You may find yourself miming a phone call, boxing someone, or even washing your clothes — all while getting down to the latest from Ghanaian beatmakers like Killbeatz and rappers like EL.
Here are a few videos to help you understand why this dance has become so popular in Ghana and around the world:
Azonto had been growing in popularity since football player Asamoah Gyan started doing the dance as a goal celebration, but this Sarkodie and EL track (“You Go Kill Me”) took it to the next level. This dance features high school seniors in Tema (just outside of Accra) dancing to the song.
High school students aren’t the youngest ones dancing to Azonto. This young man drives the National Theater of Accra into a frenzy with his moves.
Proof of Azonto’s rise, UK based artists like Fuse ODG have jumped on board. In the video, two masked dancers make their way through London dancing to the tune, which includes a collaboration with Ghanaian artist Tiffany.
It’s not clear whether Azonto is on its descent or whether it’s still rising. In any case, the dance is already being integrated into other dance forms and it’s clear that it will live on for a long time. If you make it to Ghana, you will find a warm reception anytime you pull out some Azonto moves. But even at home, you can download Azonto tunes and spread the dance yourself.