At this point, everyone definitely knows and is used to the never fading wide smile of the amazing dancer, Dancegod Lloyd.
His dance videos have been everywhere on social media and he’s even been featured by BBC. The seemingly always happy dancer states that he was born to dance. He’s been dancing ever since he was a child and it was after Junior High School that he decided he was going to dance professionally. In as much as dancing has been his passion, he had another passion as well.
“I was very good at football but people were not talking about footballers. It was dancers that had attention and since I knew how to dance I decided to take up dancing.”
It wasn’t really a surprise that he went into dancing. For him, it was also part of God’s plan cos people had had dreams about him and prophesied about him dancing on big stages and with big artistes when he was in PRESEC. He was destined to dance but after high school, he had to stop dancing because no one really cared about dancers after High School. The popularity died and ”tripping stages” (performing) was not important anymore.
“People told me dancing won’t take me anywhere and that I should try and travel but my family didn’t want to hear anything about that. They wanted me to go to school cos that was the most important thing.”
School wasn’t on Dancegod Llyod’s mind though, he revealed that even in High School, he never paid attention to his studies. He barely went to class and found himself running away from class just to do what he loves but…after giving up dancing after High School, he realized he needed to go back to it because that was all he really wanted anyway.
Eventually, friends and the help of social media helped him make a gradual and big comeback but that doesn’t mean everything just started falling into place.
“I suffered to get people to book me for shows because you cannot really show them anything. You’re not an artiste, you’re a dancer. What can you really show them to convince them to have you on?? I had to prove a point by going the extra mile. So I started doing conceptual videos and all of that and because it’s not only about the dancing… you should preach something… I decided to promote the Ghanaian culture! There are beautiful places in Ghana so I went to Koforidua, I went to Kumasi, just to record videos. If you don’t pay attention, unless you’re artistic, if you don’t pay attention, you’ll just think it’s just a normal video. I was showing the Adomi Bridge, I went to Jamestown, showed the art and graffitis and… people started liking it! Not only in Ghana but in other places and God willing I got accepted fully and I started getting bookings for shows. Social media has been the main tool to showcase my art.”
He still remembers his first paid gig, a music video by Guru, “Samba”. He, together with a group called the Gentle Merry Crew danced to the song and put it out on social media and it did so well a lot of artistes started reaching out. He’s gone on to dance for more artistes in Ghana and Nigeria, went to Dubai to dance on the One Africa Music Fest stage.
The name Dancegod was basically given to him by his mother. He explained that his mum always called him ‘Asa Nyame’ which is Dance god in the local dialect, Twi but for branding’s sake, he went with the English version of that to appeal to a bigger audience. He used to be called Legendury Llyod but Sister Deborah helped convince him that Dacegod was a much better name than Legendury Llyod.
The dance industry hasn’t been good to the dance god. He sadly explained that the ‘industry’ focuses more on the traditional dancers than the afrobeats and urban dancers like himself. His kind are looked down upon and referred to derogatorily as social media dancers and not real dancers but regardless, he’s doing what he loves and he’s doing amazing!
Branding is very important to Dacegod and clearly, everything about him is well thought out and planned. From his name to his method of breaking into the professional dance scene, right down to his dyed hair.
“If you want to be a great dance artist you need to brand well if not you won’t be able to book a gig because people want to work with an authentic artiste. Branding is number one! You need to know your worth and actively engage people. My goal is to change the perception about dance in Ghana, so people need to remember me, the dancer with that coloured hair.”