The news of the unfortunate death of Jamaican dancer Roxanne ‘Bumpa’ Evans on January 23rd has struck a nerve among the local dancehall community and street dancers in Jamaica. Bumpa’s death has triggered an, ‘I told you so’ phenomena among critics who have been in discontentment with the nature of these dances and the extent in which the dancers have taken their stunts.
Over the last 8 years or so, Jamaican street and party dancers have evolved this culture to extreme and some say, ridiculous heights. There are no limits to the stunts they perform, from involving the use of fire to drawing blood, all in efforts of raving the crowd.
Dancehall dancer Dyema Attitude, who created the very popular Dutty Wine and Hot Wuk dances, said in an interview with The Weekend Star, that dancers have to keep upping their stunts to stay current and in-demand for bookings.
So while she agrees with the critics she also admits there is simply no other way. “If yuh a one ‘true’ dancer and dat a your work, yuh can’t calm down, yuh affi always a do it. When we calm down, we nah go get no bookings. Due to how yuh want yuh money fi go yuh yaad and take care a your bills dem and feed your family, yuh go the extra mile,” she said.
Dyema has been very vocal on social media since Bumpa’s demise, in a video clip on Twitter, she went on a rant about new dancers taking risks in executing dance stunts without adequate skills thus endangering their lives as well as their dance partner’s.
In Dyema’s opinion, she said Bumpa was not a stunt dancer and neither is Momo, (the dancer responsible for breaking Bumpa’s neck on the tragic night of her passing). Nonetheless, she completely blames Momo for Bumpa’s death.
Dancehall dancer Dyema who created the popular Dutty Wine dance, expressed raw emotions over the death of Roxanne ‘Bumpa’ Evans. She died while participating in a dance competition in Lucea.
Both dancers are from Montego Bay & knew each other well😔🇯🇲 pic.twitter.com/OXzKGq2Aoo
— DancersofJamaica (@JamaicanDancers) January 26, 2020
Dyema even released a voice note of Momo explaining what happened during the failed dance routine. In the recording, Momo said “Me a go over her and me body weight come down but a nuh di whole a me body weight me put over her, but the body weight weh me put dung pan her, she go down pan her neck, yuh understand”. As a result of Bumpa’s death, family and friends are urging Momo to turn herself into the police and face charges, but so far there are no reports that she has.
The dance stunt that Bumpa and Momo attempted on that fatal night is called the ‘Chuck Tru Dance’ move; Dancehall choreographer Stacy Xpression was the co-creator. She too is speaking out, pleading with inexperience dancers to take caution before attempting these complicated stunts.
It’s not uncommon for dancers in general to get hurt during a routine, even the most experienced talents often times get injured.
Late last year Team Spice member Dancin Rebel was seriously hurt after another dancer fell on her, she broke her arm and had to undergo surgery.
Unfortunately we are reporting the tragic death of Dancehall dancer Bumpa of the Gladiator Girls. She died when another dancer unfortunately landed on her, breaking her neck during a dance competition.
We implore dancers to be mindful & educate themselves on risks involved😔🇯🇲 pic.twitter.com/TX95dI8uTA
— DancersofJamaica (@JamaicanDancers) January 24, 2020
Like Bumpa, a few years ago another well-known dancer broke her neck and died while performing the popular Dutty Wine dance.