Getting To Know Jamaican Dancer; Camoy Romaine Stafford

1623560_757628270949681_1619709318468560279_nCamoy Romaine Stafford was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Growing up in the 90s and early 2000s in Jamaica, dancehall was a very prevalent part of the culture and it influenced Camoy from his childhood. He was always interested in dance, but got serious about it in the 9th grade. He would dance whenever he got the opportunity. Learning and creating dancehall steps, and also dancing with friends and choreographing routines. In this case he was a local street dancer, which is a huge part of Dancehall culture. His biggest influence from other street Dancehall dancers came from Andre “Cosmic” Elite, from the Elite Team in Kingston, Jamaica. Camoy saw Cosmic as unique and noticed how his moves were aggressive yet flow with the music effortlessly. Camoy also became very influenced by the hip hop dance style called popping, specifically by one specific dancer Marquese Scott. The influence Camoy received from Scott’s passion made him aware of the technique of animation within dance. Camoy worked hard on that technique, and it is now one of his biggest attributes in his personal dance style. He dances with strength, precision, and fluidity. Once he became aware of this he began recording videos of himself free-styling and uploading them on YouTube.

IMG-20150301-WA0007From 2014 to present day, Camoy has been a member of the performance group Mahogany Entertainment Network, directed by Brent Maxwell. They perform all over Jamaica for tourists, hotels, and special events. Styles include Jazz, African, modern, contemporary, traditional folk, and dancehall. The group has been recognized as the Most Outstanding Traditional Folk Group for more than 5 years straight and the Most Outstanding Dance Group in Western Jamaica for over 15 years. Apart from Mahogany Entertainment Network, Camoy has formed his own dance team in Montego Bay called the New Era Team. They have competed in Jamaican dance competitions like Dancing Dynamite, Tastee Talent Trail and JCDC. Camoy has also created his own dancehall steps under his New Era Team name, and dancehall lovers and dancers from all over the world (Sweden, South America, USA, and Germany to name a few) have endorsed his steps and incorporated them into their own routines and dance classes. The most popular steps he created are Shorta Breath, Snapshot, Pinch, Check and etc. Each step has a video on his YouTube channel, New Era, which anyone can watch and learn.

Camoy is so passionate about dance and it can be seen by everyone who he crosses paths with. His willingness and openness to teach and dance with anyone from any walk of life is an attribute that sets him apart from many. He is not driven by money, but driven by inspiration. He believes everyone has a story to tell and dance is an outlet for those who don’t otherwise have any other outlet. Camoy’s future plans are first to travel and dance in other parts of the world, and come back to Jamaica and open a dance studio in Montego Bay, creating a dancing hub and space on the Western side of the island the way Dance JA and Dance Xpressionz has done in Kingston. 

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