Types of Dance in Nigeria

Nigeria is a country that is blessed with different cultures and unique people. Different tribes and regions in Nigeria have their unique dance. Dance is a medium through which these cultures showcase their lifestyle. They are also a means of recreation and exercise. At festivals, they are performed as rites and a medium to tell stories about the history of the people. These dances often portray the riches of the tribe. Generally, dance can be for entertainment. In this article, we would be looking at the different types of dance in Nigeria.

Types of Dance in Nigeria

The types of dance in Nigeria would be discussed below:

  • Ekombi Dance

Ekombi dance is a type of dance in Nigeria that is very prominent. It is a kind of dance that is peculiar to the Efik/Ibibio people of the Cross River and Akwa Ibom states in Southern Nigeria. In this dance, young ladies are adorned in beautiful multi-coloured wear that comprises a blouse that exposes the stomach and a mini skirt.

The Ekombi dancers also wear multi-coloured beads. The dance steps are like the movement of the ocean. The dancers dance to the rhythm of the drums and they dance to generally showcase the beauty of womanhood.

  • Ikpirikpi-ogu Dance

Ikpirikpi-ogu is a war dance that is commonly danced by the Abam people in Arachukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria. Formerly, it was a dance to welcome soldiers from war. It is done by men in the region and it symbolizes the strength of the people. Today, it is mostly performed in community events and festivals.

  • Bata Dance

The Bata dance is a traditional dance of the Yoruba people in Southwestern Nigeria. The Bata dance is linked with the Yoruba god of thunder, Sango. This dance would never be complete with beats from the bata drum which comprises a set of drums, Itotele, Okonkonlo and Iya-Ilu.

The Bata dance is danced by both men and women in the Yoruba kingdom, and it has various dance steps and stunts that both men and women can perform in an entertaining manner.

  • Atilogwu Dance

Atilogwu dance is an acrobatic dance that is performed like cheerleading. It is a dance that involves numerous fast movements. It is a dance performed by young people in the community during festivals and local events.

Atilogwu dance is mostly danced by young ladies with beautiful bodies, who are of marriageable age so as to attract suitors. The dance promotes abstinence from sex before marriage in Igbo land. 

  • Gese Dance

The Gese dance is a traditional dance in Yoruba land that originated from the social activities and rituals of the Yoruba kindred in South Western Nigeria. Gese dance is not an easy one as it has a complex mode of dance and mode of playing the drums. 

  • Mmanwu Dance

Mmanwu dance is a masquerade dance that is the most popular type in the entire Igbo land. In Igbo culture, masquerades are regarded as sacred beings. These masquerades are believed to be messengers of the gods. The Mmanwu dance is a dance that commands energy. It is always entertaining.

During the Mmanwu dance, it is believed that the masquerades become possessed by the spirit of the deity. Mmanwu dance is commonly performed during notable festivals in Igbo land like the New Yam festival. It is also performed in traditional carnivals and burial ceremonies. 

  • Koroso Dance

The Koroso dance is peculiar to the people of Kano. It originates from the Kano people of Kano state and the Fulanis. It is usually performed in pairs by the dancers. Their aim is to achieve spectacular shapes. The Koroso dancers are usually adorned with colourful beads and costumes. The beauty of the Koroso dance is the dancers trying to outdo themselves. It is always an entertaining and beautiful dance to watch.

  • Omuru-onwa and Agbacha-ekwu-nwa Dance

This dance is a type of dance that is performed by only married women and mothers. When dancing, these women sway and whine their bodies in a rhythmic manner. They move their hips and waists according to the music.

It is believed that new mothers use this dance as a form of exercise to shed weight and get rid of baby fat. These married women see the dance as an opportunity to stay healthy and keep fit since they practice weekly. 

  • Sharo Dance

The Sharo dance is a traditional dance that is popular in the northern region of the country. It is a local dance common among the Hausa and the Fulani people. This dance is by men to show a rite of passage from adulthood into married life. In the Sharo dance, the fittest man in the area takes the most beautiful maiden in the area as his wife.

  • Nkwa-umu Agbogho Dance

The Nkwa-umu Agbogho dance is a dance that originated from the Ebonyi state people. It is a dance that is strictly for maidens who are of marriageable age. It involves twisting and whining the waist and chest in a very seductive manner to attract suitors. This movement is always done in a vigorous way. The key of the dance is to help the maidens abstain from sexual activities before marriage.

  • Swange Dance

The Swange dance is a local entertaining dance performed by the Tiv people of Benue state. The Swange dance is mostly performed in big traditional events and local festivals. In Swange dance, the dancers could either dance slow, fast or even dance vigorously depending on the rhythm of the music. It is popularly called the boneless dance by the Tiv people.

  • Ogene Dance

The Ogene dance is a popular local dance in the Igbo land. It is popular in Anambra and Enugu states in Eastern Nigeria. The Ogene dance is known for the melodious music the dancers dance to. The melodious instruments that make the dance beautiful include “ekwe”, ” udu”, “ija,” ichaka”, and “abia”.

  • Etighi Dance

The Etighi dance is a dance that originated in the Akwa Ibom – Calabar region of Nigeria. It came to public light when the Nigerian musician Iyanya released the music video of his song ” Kukere” in 2012.


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