The Online Maiden Edition of the Deaf Can Dance Challenge, which aired on social media platforms such as Instagram & Facebook, commenced on the 3rd of June 2020 to 4th of July 2020. This Challenge was birthed by the Executive Director of Seams Consult Mr. Samuel James, who was able to sell the vision of the project to Partners, Sponsors and Judges that embraced it.
The objectives of Deaf Can Dance Challenge are as follows:-
💠 Showcase creativity and boost innovation inherent in the Deaf community.
💠Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of collaboration, in the creative process through leadership, participation and reflection.
💠Develop a multifaceted physicality through dance.
💠Boost a better and social interpersonal relationship.
💠 Foster entertainment in the Deaf community.
Prior to commencement of the Challenge, fliers were posted on Social Media platforms for interested persons that are Deaf or Hard of Hearing to show their interest by registering within a week (i.e. 24th-30th of May 2020).
At the end of registration week, 54 persons registered but 37 participants made it through from different states in Nigeria
(Abuja, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, Lagos, Oyo & Kano to mention a few) and country (Ghana). Panel of Judges for this Challenge consist of Joy Ityokyaa (USA), Kunle Omotesho (Kwara State), Ojo Olowruwase (Abuja)
At the first stage of this Challenge, the 37 participants were divided into 6 groups and this stage basically had dancers doing freestyle dance steps to qualify moving to the next round. After thorough scrutiny by the judges, 24 participants scaled through to the second stage now consisting of 4 persons in a group.
At the second stage, dancers were given a theme “Black Lives Matter”. These participants were to speak against killing & molestation of black people across the world using dance. 12 participants (2 in a group) made it through to the 3rd stage and this stage was themed “Battle” meaning the dancers were paired to battle it out in dance and netizens voted for the best crew including the input of the Judges. 6 persons made it to the final stage.
The theme “props” was given to the six finalist, which means the judges expected them to showcase their level of creativity using props of their choice. These dancers showcase their level of creativity by using various props ranging from chairs, tables, umbrella, sticks and so on.
The Judges, having put into consideration the following factors – compliance to rules, creativity, originality, costume, social media, passionate, catchy & memorable, declared the winners with their total scores :-
1st Columba Chinazo – 83% (Anambra State)
2nd Odedina Abosede – 80% (Lagos State)
3rd Emmanuel Duah – 74% ( Ghana)
As a result of the immense success of the Deaf Can Dance Challenge, the organizers started receiving invites for interviews from different national broadcast stations. This implies that we are tending towards an inclusive society, slowly but surely.
Follow Up Task:- For immediate follow up task, few of the best dancers have been selected. They are undergoing professional trainings which would lead to the release of a professional video soon.
For further follow up, we would be organizing “DEAF CAN DANCE AFRICA” . There would be participation of Deaf dancers from various parts of Africa, the cash price would be bigger and the show would be better.
NB: It is important to note that promotion fee for sponsored Ad was paid by the host (working hand in hand with the media partner) for all videos submmited. This we believe has increased the visibility of every dancer that participated in this Challenge.