Jamaican dance choreographer Rollx is being praised in India following a recent stint in which he traveled to the megacity of Delhi to teach Dancehall dance moves to Indian nationals at Issa Dancehall Ting, an event led by choreographer Garima “Lady Lolita” Gambhir, founder of India’s IRIE Dance crew.
Rollx’s tutelage caught the attention of the Times of India, which noted that more than 70 students from across the country had travelled to Delhi to participate in the event, which the publication described as ‘a high-octane showcase’, in which the ‘Jamaican dance form Dancehall took the city by storm’.
Lady Lolita, who described the event as “a day to immerse ourselves in Jamaican culture, music and dance”, in thanking Rollx, gushed on Instagram about the Jamaican’s professionalism and commitment to ensuring that the Indians had a good time, despite him being overly tired from travelling to multiple countries within a short time span.
“After going back and forth whether to do Is A Dancehall Ting, or not literally it came down to Rollx coming forward 😍. You were so great even after being so tired from your tour already, it didn’t feel like this must be like you 100th class in a different country! So humble, respectful, fun and just full of vibes! THANK YOU Rollx for the bestest time ! It was truly a pleasure hosting you and you definitely left us feeling IRIE,” she wrote.
For its part, the Times of India noted that “Rollx energy truly took everyone to Jamaica for a bit and gave the taste of authentic dancehall.”
“As they say in Jamaican creole, everyone at the end was left feeling IRIE, a word used in Jamaica for being excited and happy!” the publication noted.
Lady Lolita’s biography on her website describes her as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, performer, event organiser and a certified fitness trainer based in New Delhi, India, who has been dancing since the age of four.
“She decided to turn her passion into a full-time career in 2018 and has never looked back since! She loves the Caribbean culture and has been contributing to promote soca and dancehall music and dance in India,” it notes, adding that she is also founder of Issa Dancehall Ting, ” through which she invites Jamaicans to India to perform and teach.
According to the Times of India Lady Lolita, who has been performing Dancehall in India since the past six years, established Issa Dancehall Ting in 2018 to create a space promoting community, culture exchange and a chance for people to learn a different dance style directly from the source.
“The event is one of a kind, bringing Jamaican culture in India through a powerful dance movement,” it noted.
The publication noted that Lolita was introduced to Dancehall while she was studying in London in 2016 and ended up training in the renowned Pineapple Dance Studio for a year.
“She is one of the pioneers in promoting the dancehall culture in India and first Indian dancer to go to Jamaica and experience the culture directly,” it noted.
“She has worked as a choreographer for various music videos, highlight being Roots Rock Reggae by UB 40 ft General Zooz from Reggae Rajahs. She has represented India in dancehall competitions in London and Spain. She has performed at music festivals: Vh1 Supersonic 2023 and Goa Sunsplash,” it added.
India’s first International Dancehall camp was held in February 2019 in New Delhi, and was titled INDIES VIBEZ UP! It had featured Jamaican dancer Shakespear, and others.
The camp was the brainchild of Shankaraa Satchi, founder of Dancehall India, who said she had created the platform with the hope of spreading Dancehall culture across India.
That Dancehall camp had included dance workshops, demonstrations and lectures on the history and evolution of the genre.
“The mission is to help the dancers and enthusiasts in India experience an authentic Jamaican dancehall lifestyle, to some extent, without having to travel all the way to Jamaica,” Satchi, had told The Gleaner at the time.
“Although dancehall is at its early stages of development in India, there is a small community of talented dancers there who take dancehall seriously. There are weekly dancehall parties in a few of the major metropolitan cities,” she had added.