WhoopUncovered: The Art of Dancing – DanceGodLlyod
Laud Anoo Konadu known professionally as DanceGodLloyd, is a Ghanaian dancer, dance coach and choreographer. He is a co-founder of the dance school, DWP academy.
In 2020, he performed in Beyonce’s Already music video which featured Shatta Wale.
With 1.3 million followers on Instagram, DanceGodLloyd has used his dance to influence people’s love for Afrobeat music, making a strong statement that dance is a critical part of making a song more popular
Whoopro had a WhoopUncovered conversation with DanceGodLloyd on how he uses his influence through dancing.
Why the name DanceGodLloyd?
I feel like my dance is inspired by God in the sense that I believe in myself and I believe in God and whenever I dance, I feel like God is actually talking to me. That’s what I believe about my dance. So basically, the name Dancegod is inspired by God and my real name is Lloyd. I chose dancegod as my nickname.
Where do you draw your inspiration from in dancing?
Every day in life. You know I’m a student of life. I am growing so whatever I see around me and the fact that I see people suffer a lot makes me want to dance to inspire them. So, basically everyday life inspires me and the fact that the sea waves do not die!
Tell us about your childhood and how you discovered your talent
My childhood has really influenced my way of life. Now because I grew up in the ghetto you know, Ashaiman to be precise where people are really looked down upon, even if you have the talent or are educated. People don’t really like to pay attention to you like that. So, growing up I wanted to be great. I wanted to be very good at whatever I decided to do. I went through a lot. I explored, you know, I experienced so many things, like hanging with bad boys, playing football, dancing on stages, carnivals, having fun, playing “pampanaa” (the hide and seek game). I decided to pick two; football and dancing. Because I really believed in myself, and I was super adventurous. I would do the unexpected like climbing someone’s house and jumping on the floor. Typically, something that someone at my age wouldn’t do. I really experienced a lot of things. I grew up in a small tenant house with over 7 people in one room. You can imagine!
We’ve been seeing videos with you and your mum dancing and having fun together
Yeah! We have this connection and it’s something that cannot be separated. She understands me a lot and she knew how hardworking I was when I started. So, this is the time for her to admire and cherish every moment with me.
Tell us about Dance with Purpose Academy
Dance with Purpose Academy was created 4 years ago. Our motive was to give young Talent the platform to monetize their creativity and also take them off the street and away from social vices, you know, things that have the potential of destroying their future. DWP Academy is there to help young people find their purpose and live it because when I started, I just wanted to be a dancer, but now I stand in front of people and I talk to them. I do other stuff. I’m also an influencer. I just wanted to dance but it has led to so many things. I feel like finding my purpose is very important and I can bring these young and upcoming, you know, talents along. It’s very, very important. I cannot do this by myself.
How were you able to combine school with dancing?
It was difficult for me. Kudos to anyone combining school with their talents. It was really difficult for me. But for some funny reason, I was able to pull through. I just paid attention, when it was time for me to write exams, I focus on my books when it’s not, I focus on dance.
Do you plan on furthering your education?
Oh Yes! I really want to. I want to be able to manage my works, you know, the outside jobs.
What do you want to study?
Business administration. Or maybe on delve into the dance world and know more about it. You know it has always been the hustling way, doing it on the streets but now I want to learn more about it professionally.
What’s your take on our educational system?
One time someone told me about creative arts and I wasn’t in school when that was introduced. So yeah, it’s a great thing that they introduced that. Now the kids can focus on their talent and find what they can really do and do best. So yeah, the system could be better. I like what I’m seeing, you know, I like the growth.
What are some of the opportunities dancing has created for you?
Having the opportunity to influence brands is one, you know. CNN did a short story about DWP Academy and myself. BBC also did a short story about me. I perform on big stages, like the AfroNation, One Africa Music Fest among others. Being in Beyonce’s music video was a privilege as well. I feel like it’s one of my greatest achievements also. Glory be to God.
Tell us about that Beyonce experience. How did you even land it?
It just happened. You know. So, one day we were just hanging in the studio and my manager said “you know, there’s this new song that’s out and everyone is going crazy about it. I think if we do a dance video to it and it goes viral, we might stand a chance of being in the music video”. He just said it into existence and we did it and we got selected amongst all the million videos. Everything was shot in Ghana, Nima. And a big shout out to the producers and the team. It was a good shoot. One of the best shoots I have been part of.
Would you say dancing can be considered a full-time job?
Yes, 100%. If you go to the right place. And that’s joining DWP Academy.
What was the inspiration behind your song with Medikal?
I was just trying to talk to the youth. You know, when I was little, I used to spend a lot on food at the expense of other important things. I’ll spend a lot on food, go hungry and start begging people. Now that I’ve had the opportunity or the fame, I’ll use it for a good cause and talk to the younger version of me.
What’s your favorite?
Jollof and goat.
Would you put Music and Dance on the same pedestal?
Yes, you cannot separate music from dance.
Which one pays more?
Both pay well. It’s never about the profession. It actually depends on you and how well you add value to yourself.
Who do you look up to in the dance world?
I used to look up to Michael Jackson. Then Jabbawockeez, one of my biggest Dance crew. Big ups to Paa T as well. He’s been an inspiration to me since childhood. Paving the way for us here in Ghana.
Tell us about some of the challenges you’ve had to deal with on your journey
I’ve faced so many challenges from my parents not accepting the fact that I want to dance, to my friends not hanging out with me anymore because they felt like I was useless and I was not bringing anything to the table, you know I just wasting their time asking them for money and from sleeping at the bus station, getting embarrassed by event organizers paying chicken change, you know, one of those things that you know I don’t like to talk about that.
How did you handle it when it seems the world is against your dream?
Focus on focus. I have an amazing team. On my journey, I met amazing people who protected my energy. And I know where I’m going with dance. There will be hindrances, but I still have to stay focused and that’s the most important thing for me.
How is it like to work with brands as an influencer?
I really just wanted to dance, but I had to learn other things as well. You know, it’s very, very difficult working with Brands. You know you have to go and come back, always present something great, something new, something better, you get me. It’s difficult but that’s where the money is, so we are still there.
How does the future look like for you?
I want a lot of dancers to be great from Ghana and Africa. I’m at the right place to make it happen. All I need is support, the energy, and God’s grace to make it work because the dance world is changing. The world is changing, everywhere you go you see people dancing. You see videos everywhere on the internet. So, I feel like the world is gonna change, we are changing the world, you day by day. I see myself sharing the culture, my lights with the world, everywhere in the world
Is it tied with the goal of the Dance with Purpose Academy?
Yes, it is. We want to dance with a purpose. We are not doing this for ourselves. The purpose is bigger than us. We might not even be alive to celebrate so many things. You know, we just want to leave a legacy and make sure it lives forever. You know, it doesn’t die, that’s why we are training people to be great. Not be like us, but be greats as individuals so that they can carry on with the legacy
What will be your final words to your fans?
Believe in yourself. I like to talk to the kids. Because I feel like I have something to do with kids. So, believe in yourself, make sure you’re making money from whatever talent you have. And take care of family because it’s very, very important. Stay true to yourself. Put God first in everything and trust me, you shall reign forever.
Watch the full interview below: