Interview with Uganda’s best dance crew – The Trojans

Four years ago, the Trojans dance crew was born. From rocking block parties to dance battles, in 2014 the group represented Uganda at East Africa’s ultimate dance show competition dubbed ‘Sakata Mashariki‘ season five hosted by Kenya’s television Citizen Tv. Since then, the Trojans have been featured in several Ugandan celebrities’ music videos including BET’s award winner Eddy Kenzo, Go Down Low hit song singers Sheebah ft Pallaso and many others. In a recent exclusive interview, Michael Wandati got the chance to speak with the Trojans dance crew, we bring you the excerpts:

KD: For those that haven’t heard of the Trojans dance crew, could you please introduce yourselves and tell us briefly about your dance background?
Trojans is a vibrant all-male dance crew, composed of talented students from various tertiary, and other vocational institutions in Uganda. Every style and component of the street and corporate events dance culture, is covered by the Trojans.

KD: Could you tell us a bit more about how the Trojans dance crew started?
Our paths crossed along our individual dance lives and seamed together as like minds to deliver our dance dreams. This dates back in April 2013. We’ve actually mastered and synchronised each other’s art of dance for some good time now.

KD: If you had to describe the Trojans dance crew in 3 words, what would they be?
Talented, determined, and God fearing.

KD: Which dancers or dance crew inspired and influenced you to create the Trojans, and what was the epicenter that brought the crew to the limelight?
We were inspired by ‘Jabbawockeez’ and ‘Quest Crew’ in Americas best dance crew competitions. The clothes they wore, and the moves they did were greater than any so called hip hop dancers or trained dancer we had ever seen. They are natural; they very well master the culture of real dancing. We appeared in the limelight through several music videos we featured in during our recent past.

KD: What situations did you guys have to face when you first started, or even today? Were there any struggles along the way for the Trojans?

At first, it was really hard for us to have a mutual connection with the media to showcase our work since no one knew us. But slowly, we have maneuvered trough and managed to overcome this kind of publicity challenge.

KD: How do you feel about dance in Uganda today? In both the underground scene and in the mainstream media?

Dance is really catching up in Uganda today. For example, the emergence of the many dance studios that have been, and continue to be opened up around town. Furthermore, dance tutoring services are on high demand over the past two years.

Trojans dance crew at a recent performance in Uganda – File Photo.

KD: According to the Trojans dance crew, what is it about Hip-Hop dance that makes it Hip-Hop? And what form of dance style best defines your crew?

Hip-hop dance is not just a dance, it is a lifestyle, and it is a culture. The attitude and energy used — with of course the technique in the dance, is what makes it hip-hop. Trojans are mainly defined as ‘B-boys’ or call us the ‘Break dancers’.

KD: What is the best way for someone to learn hip-hop dance, and most importantly, how do you develop your moves?

The best way to learn hip-hop dance is through repeated practice and thorough research, especially from the pioneers/veterans that came before. All these traits will enable someone interested to learn and master in detail the elements of hip-hop dance.

KD: How many are you in Trojans dance crew and what qualifies someone interested to join the group?

Initially, we were five guys, but we’ve recently recruited a sixth member for our upcoming projects. For one to qualify as a Trojans member, the qualities we look for are; you have to be disciplined, extremely talented, and above 18 years of age.

KD: You represented Uganda at East Africa’s ultimate dance show competition dubbed ‘Sakata Mashariki‘ season five hosted by Kenya’s television Citizen Tv in Nairobi, this is considered a platform for any upcoming dance group to showcase and market their talent, how have your lives changed after the Sakata dance competition?

Sakata dance competition exposed us to the entire East African (international) viewership and increased our ratings and bookings; it further helped us up our game and efforts due to the stiff competition from other groups that were represented from the host country Kenya, and Tanzania.

KD: How do you feel about dance styles such as Krumping, Turfing and Footworking?

These dances are vigorous and energetic. They are good dances for expressing your emotions and letting out stress.

KD: What is foundation to you, and how important do you think foundation is for dancers in general?

Foundation is the platform or core upon which you hinge yourself as a person. Foundation shapes your future as a dancer; it sets the styles that you are most likely to expertise in.

KD: What would you say to encourage young and upcoming dancers to come out of their comfort zones and reach for their dreams like you are reaching for yours?

We encourage young and upcoming dancers not to give up the hustle, be more creative, work hard, be focused, and most importantly put God first in everything they do.

KD: We would love to see The Trojans dance crew featured in local and international music videos and documentaries. Are there any ongoing special projects or planned upcoming events we should expect anytime soon? If any, which artist/s and projects are you currently working on?

The list of music videos that we have featured in is endless, but to mention a few, we have been featured in: Go down low – by Sheebah ft Pallaso, Royal – by Black Entertainment Television (BET) Award winner Eddy Kenzo and Patoranking, Work it out – by Maurice Kirya, Breaking free – by Ekky, Ayayai – by Big Trill and Young Zee, and many others.  Otherwise, we are currently working on releasing more videos of our own, we have so far released three and you can check them out on our YouTube channel Trojans dance crew Uganda.

KD: Random question, what is your all-time favorite Hip-Hop track?

Turn Down for What by Lil Jon – a single by DJ Snake and Lil Jon released on December 18, 2013. This song is the type of song that gets you motivated to do anything — getting people amped up and hyped up.

KD: What’s in the future for The Trojans dance crew? What do you guys want to do?

We have a lot of things to do. We want to start up a community center for rehabilitating the youth through various performing arts like dance, beat boxing, drama and other creative artistic activities. Collectively, Trojans want to support upcoming talent.

KD: Great, thank you so much. Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans out there?

It’s hard to describe in words the feeling that we get when we meet people that support our dance. We thank our fans for the endless love and support they have shown us, we are so grateful for this as it has made us what we are now.