Two Rwandan hip hop dancers are set to take part in this year’s edition of the Challenge Vacance dance battle in Douala, Cameroon. The event is slated for September 2 in the coastal city.
Regarded as the biggest competition in urban cultures in Cameroon, this year marks the 12th edition of the competition.
Youthful dancers Chris Ashton Hirwa and Isaac Shema will represent the country, which is the first time that Rwanda is taking part in the competition.
The two, from the Krest Crew, a local dance group, qualified for Challenge Vacance after emerging winners at a local battle to select the Rwandan finalists at Gisimbi’s Place in Nyamirambo in June. The two beat seven other local dance duos to emerge winners. Organisers of Challenge Vacance sent in their team of judges from Cameroon to officiate the battle.
“They (Challenge Vacance) work with East African dancers, especially in countries like Burkina Faso, Senegal and Mali. Now they want to include some countries in the South and East — that is Congo Brazzaville and Rwanda,” explained Hirwa. The competition featured strictly hip hop style dances that combined all hip hop elements.
“The event is big. These people have been doing this for 13 years. I think this is a good way to represent our country in Cameroon and demonstrate that modern dance is alive in Rwanda, even though we are the first and we’re just a few years in the game,” Hirwa explained.
Before leaving for Cameroon, however, Hirwa will first travel to Kampala, Uganda for this year’s edition of the annual Batalo Dance Fest, where he will be among the performers.
The best dance duo at the Challenge Vacance will walk away with a winner’s bounty of 1,000 Euros.