Monday, October 23, 2017

Five Videos Of The South African "Gwara Gwara" Dance (information & videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

Latest revision: June 30, 2018

This pancocojams post provides information about South Africa's contemporary social dance called "gwara gwara" (also written as gwaragwara") and showcases five YouTube videos of that dance.

The Addendum of this post provides information about DJ Bongz who popularized the Dugan, South African dance "gwara gwara".

The Addendum also showcases a video of Bajan-American singer Rihanna performing gwara gwara on the 2018 Grammy Awards television show.

The content of this post is provided for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the DJ Bongz, the South African DJ who is widely credited as the one who popularized this dance worldwide.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

Thanks also to all those who are featured in these videos and thanks also to the composers and performers of the music which is featured in these videos.
Click for the pancocojams post entitled "Selected Comments From The YouTube Discussion Thread For "Nigerians Murder South African Dance Step "Gwara Gwara".

What is "Gwara Gwara"?
"Gwara Gwara" is a social dance that began trending in South Africa in 2016 thanks to its performance and promotion by South African dancer DJ Bongz. The earliest YouTube video of this dance that I've found was published by DURBANDANCE on January 22, 2016 and is entitled "Tarabha DJ Bongz #MrGwara Gwara Dance"
(805,853 views as of October 22, 2017 4:27 PM EDT). That video is given below as Example #1.

Another early video of this dance "Dj bongz Gwaragwara dance compilation" (109,986 views) was published on Feb 27, 2016 by TK Tube. The brief summary of that video indicates that this is "dj bongz well known famous dance". That summary may mean that Dj Bongz is a well known famous dancer [in South Africa].

Comparisons Between "Gwara Gwara" And Two Other African Social Dances
All of the "Gwara Gwara" YouTube videos that I've found were published in 2016 and most of the commenters on those videos' discussion threads wrote comments in 2016. Many of those commenters describe "Gwara Gwara" as a very popular social dance in South Africa. In the discussion thread for the video given below as Example #4 ( DANCE GWARA GWARA COMPILATION), several Angolan commenters wrote that the "Gwara Gwara" dance was actually the Angolan dance named "Kuduro". Other commenters in the discussion thread for the "SA DANCE GWARA GWARA COMPILATION" video mentioned above wrote that "Gwara Gwara" was like [Ghana's] Azonto dance. However, other commenters refuted that comparison indicating that the two dances are nothing alike.

Pancocojams posts on "Kuduro" and on "Azonto" can be found by using this blog's internal search engine.

The Music Used To Dance "Gwara Gwara"
"Gwara Gwara" appears to be danced [or was danced] to Southern African "House" instrumental music. For example, a commenter in the discussion thread for the Jul 23, 2016 video entitled "Gwara gwara n bhenga dance" indicated that the music track being danced to was "Xoli M - 1000 Hearts". And a munber of commenters indicated that the track that was used in the video given below as Example #4 was the Angolan "House" music track "Wololo" by Dj Maceeya.

What Does The Name "Gwara Gwara" Mean?
In the discussion thread for this YouTube video:, commenter Vodacom Mkhize (2016) responded to the question "What does "Gwara Gwara" means with this statement:
"It's a bird, it's a variation of gwala gwala/ligwalagwala/igwalagwala, a Zulu/Ndebele bird (maybe an African parrot) which was used by kings like Shaka to honour a brave person. The dance is from the moves of the bird, but it's better to ask the inventors anyway."


DURBANDANCE, Published on Jan 22, 2016


Example #2: KIDS DANCE the GWARA GWARA South African DANCE

Courtney Danelli, Published on Mar 18, 2017

The gwara gwara South African dance


Example #3: BEST SA DANCE gwara gwara

Tebogo Ndou, Published on Mar 15, 2017


TMan Ostrong, Published on Apr 17, 2016

Dj Bongz's Gwara Gwara, The Trending Dance

Watch The Second Episode Here:

Example #5: Gwaragwara dance tutorial (Basics )

ipfi mbedzi, Published on Sep 2, 2016

If you have always wanted to do the gwaragwara you can start here

"Deejay Bongz
House DJ who became a household name in South Africa for his albums Game Changer, No Retreat and No Surrender. He became the first South African DJ to sell double Platinum and won two best dance compilation awards at the Metro Fm Awards.

Before Fame
He started putting out songs around 2005.

His album Game Changer was nominated for a South African Music Award for Best Kwaito Album in 2016.

Family Life
His real name is Bongani Dlamini. He was born and raised near Durban, South Africa."...

"DJ Bongz’ GwaraGwara Is Now A Viral Dance Sensation And You Need To Watch This Mashup

by: Afika Jadezweni, 30 January, 2018
"A one-minute video of people from all over the world doing DJ Bongz’ Gwara Gwara has gone viral on Twitter this afternoon. This is a dance originally popularised by local house hitmaker DJ Bongz, who has been seen in many videos doing the dance either at performances or on any other regular occasion where the music is good and loud enough. And now it has become an international dance sensation.

The montage posted today on Twitter by Gagasi FM’s DJ Websta recognises the local DJ as the ‘Gwara Gwara originator’ and thanks Bongz for introducing the dance to the world.


This video comes a day after South Africans were quick to point out that one of Rihanna’s dance moves during her Grammy Awards performance* was in fact DJ Bongz’ Gwara Gwara (along with the Ghanian azonto) and not the stanky leg as international media initially claimed.


Grammy Award 2018-Rihanna dancing Shaku shaku or gwara gwara

Nicki Vlogs, Published on Jan 29, 2018
Here are three comments from that video's discussion thread:
Nicki Vlogs, 2018
"I THOUGHT SHE NAILED IT...WHAT DO YOU THINK? subscribe and comment"


Logede Briggs, 2018
"She did the gwara gwara well."


Ms La'Nae, 2018
"NOOOO! I think she tried to be suttle because she was on the award show, but when that dance is done everyone be killing it. I'm waiting on a repeat where she can show us how she really Gwara Gwara."
I think "suttle" (probably the word "subtle") means that she held back, i.e. didn't go "all out" in her dancing; didn't give her dancing everything that she has.
American actor, Hip Hop composer, performer Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) also performed gwara gwara as part of his hit "This is American"

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