Ghana Azonto Dancing


Azonto is a dance that originated in Ghana during the early 2000's. Rather than having me butcher a description of it, click below to watch a video of it.


Note: The masks are not part of the dance – just a feature of that particular performance group.

This hugely popular dance was originally called "Apaa" – meaning 'work' in Ga. This was because many of its movements mimic daily activities including washing, scrubbing, driving, and boxing. The current name, "Azonto", means 'life.'

Azonto became hugely popular with the success of Asamoah Gyan, a Ghanaian soccer star, with his club (Sunderland F.C.) and Ghana's national team – the Black Stars. His 'trademark' victory dance after scoring was none other than 'Azonto'.


Almost everyone in my secondary school class knew how to Azonto and wanted to teach me. A simple idea, for Wikipedia clearly states:

Azonto, when taught effectively can be learned within five minutes, according to experienced Azonto teachers.

Not the way I've been learning. My teachers have all performed Azonto for 2-3 minutes, letting me watch and 'absorb' the dance.  I usually forget that I'm supposed to be paying attention to and learning their specific body movements, and just enjoy myself.

Following the dance I was told, "Okay – now you try it!"

If you have 'rhythm in your blood', as most Ghanaians do, this teaching style will work for you. But sadly for Obrunis who are used to practicing coreography for over two months before performing, this style merely leads to blank stares and a strong urge to hide under a table.

That being said, the mighty Azonto shall not defeat me. I hereby pledge that by the time I arrive home, I will catch all 150 Pokémon, defeat the Elite 4, and become an Azonto master!

But first I'll have to master Pikachu's favorite dance… the 'electric' slide.