Entertainment

Dance stylist

BY SADE GARDNER
Observer writer

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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Choreographer Desha Ravers, the lone female in the Ravers Clavers dance group, made her debut in the United Kingdom last month at London's Pineapple Dance Studios.

“The turnout was great. The people dem weh come the class literally waan cry when dem si mi an' mi naah hype. I'm the only female who isn't wining (gyrating) an' the girls dem over there respect that. The way that dancers portray themselves it's pure wining, and as a dancer you have to know authentic Jamaican moves too,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

In February, Desha Ravers won Best Female Dancer at the Your View Awards in Kingston.

Recently, former dancer Keiva Di Diva lashed out against dance workshops by some local choreographers, describing them as a “selling out of Jamaican culture” as local dancers do not reap the real financial rewards.

Desha Ravers disagrees.

“Yuh caan watch a next man's earnings, no matter where yuh coming from. Yeah, that kinda wrong seh that's how those dancers make their money. But dem always haffi come back fi perfect it, dem always haffi come back to the masters. I just don't like when dem thief di dance and remix it,” she said.

Desha Ravers is known for her adaptation of dances like the Syvah and Yeng Yeng. She said she gets criticised on social media for dancing like a man.

“Every single day some people come in my comments and say: 'Why yuh nuh do this or do that?' Some say 'She too masculine.' At the end of the day, this is the dancing I love. I don't want to skin out and wine up myself, I'm not bashing the girls who do, because we're cool and dem accept mi,” she said.

The 26-year-old, who always wanted to be a dancer, joined Ravers Clavers four years ago. This, she said, was after years of asking her father, Beenie Man, for help in this venture. The two are estranged.

“I know him feel bun up and hurt fi know seh everything weh a happen for mi now him nuh have nothing fi do with it. You know mi coulda dance from mi a three and you didn't help. I was supposed to sit at home and do nothing? You know how good it would have looked to have a father and daughter on tour like that?” she asked.

Though dancing is paying the bills now, Desha Ravers hopes to become a fashion stylist.

“I want to style people and change up people's closet. I love dressing people and I want to be a model too, so mi love dress up and mi love fashion. The key to fashion is to be comfortable in what you're wearing.

There's a lot I want to accomplish as a dancer first before pursuing that. I want to be in a Chris Brown or Rihanna video, dem levels deh mi want be on,” she said.

Born Deshagaye Davis, she was raised by her grandfather in Hughenden, St Andrew, and is one of 11 siblings. She attended Vaz Preparatory School and Meadowbrook High School before completing her education at Everglades High School in Miami.

She has a nine-year-old daughter.

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