“I stand for taking Africa to the world, and taking the world to Africa through dance. This is important to me because I’m so proud to be African…and I think the whole world needs to know what we’re about -that we’re not just about poverty, disease and sadness that you see in the media. But we’re also about happiness, dance, fashion and passion.” -Sherrie Silver
“This is America” dance routine
Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino released his hit song “This is America” in May 2018. The song debuted with 65.3 million US streams in it’s first week. The music video accounted for 68% of the song’s streams. It was a major topic of conversation for many reasons. One of them being Gambino’s performance of viral dance moves throughout the controversial video. Featured, were the “Gwara Gwara”, a popular South African dance move and the “Azonto”, a popular Ghanaian dance move. This was the first indication that there was African influence in the choreography. Hence, it came as no surprise when the world found out that Sherrie Silver, a Rwandan born choreographer was the one behind the moves.
Together with the lyrics, the video is laden with dark political themes. It is reported that Sherrie was brought in to “bring light” and happiness behind the dark themes. In an interview with Pigeons and Planes, Silver is quoted saying: “No matter how much is going on .Even if it’s the middle of a war or poverty or hunger. One thing Africans share is we dance our sorrows away. Not even professionally, it’s just a part of our culture.” This is important to note as the dancing is in contrast to the violence depicted in the rest of the video.
The multi-faceted Sherrie started sharing her dancing with the world on her YouTube channel in 2011 while she was in university. At that point she’d already performed for the president of Rwanda and had an acting role in the film “Africa United”. To date she has 296,664 subscribers and you can bet she has a tutorial for the “This is America” dance routine. The tutorial comes in two parts, part one is linked in the article.
On top of acting, dancing and being a creative director, Silver also finds time to give back. Her main focus being the African community. So far she has opened a vocational training center for ex-drug addicts and sex workers. She’s also helped redevelop schools. Her most recent and biggest project is taking homeless kids off the street, she’s opened a home for homeless children in Rwanda.
You can read more about this rising star on her website which also takes donations for her many philanthropic projects.
Author: Amanda Masuku
A passionate writer continuously looking for unique stories to tell the world. Given all the diversity in the world and this new age where information is easily accessible, a good story is always around the corner. A lot of those stories often go untold or told from a negative perspective. As a writer I look not only to educate and inform but also to build connections through intricate stories that make you feel connected to the subjects.