By Kennedy Nyavaya
Rising choreographer Proud Tatenda Muguhu has bemoaned the general treatment of dance as a secondary art discipline that usually comes as an afterthought yet it contributes immensely to the entertainment spheres.
The award-winning dancer’s profile has been growing in what has seen him feature on several musicians’ music videos as well as dance cover videos of hit songs that have amassed hundreds of thousands in views on social media platforms like YouTube.
“Dancing is a well-paying job but so far we are not getting paid as we expect. People should take dancers as artistes like singers, actors, make-up artists among others, because we are all the same,” he told Standard Style.
“They should consider us when there are big functions. We can go and perform on our own without complementing a band because the arts industry should improve in that regard by giving us a chance to show that we can do it.”
According to Muguhu, not attaching enough value to their work has also affected the quality of what they produce.
“Most of us dancers are criticised for lacking creativity, but it is because most artistes who call us to work with them on videos do so a day before the shoot or on the day of the shoot whereas they should give us a time to choreograph the song before performing,” Muguhu said.
“We end up going most of the time because we do not have an option as we need the money, but at the end of the day we are called out for lacking creativity.”
Muguhu opened up about how a career that started off as a passion at church Sunday school has become the main source of income in his life.
“I started dancing when I was young and still in primary school. I used to dance in church where I joined a group called Kingdom Dance Music Ministry and that is where I grew up dancing,” he recalled.
Currently studying for a Bachelors’ Degree in Marketing Management at a local university, Muguhu said his career, spanning over a decade, had assisted him through critical moments of his academic journey.
“When I got to Form 4 that is when I started choreographing wedding dances and got into the industry professionally, that helped academically because it was at that time that my parents could not afford school fees so I used choreography money,” he said, adding that he paid for most of his A’ Level studies.
At the moment Muguhu serves as director at Superstar Dance Choreographers in addition to managing his side project Proud Choreography, which specialises on weddings and fitness. The nimble-footed youngster hopes to leave a long lasting mark in the industry.
“Personally, I want to be one of the best choreographers in Zimbabwe. I want the nation to recognise my talent and creativity and as Superstar Dance Choreographers, our main goal is to have a dance group to help youths in the ghetto who can dance but have no exposure,” he said.
Drawing inspiration from God, his dance group mates, Zoro Nhira, (aka Zororo Zumba) and Comic Pastor, Muguhu insists that dancers can make a huge impact if they stay focused.
“When I started I used to dance for free and out of passion until I met people who taught me how to take dancing as a business. They should never quit, they should know that their background cannot determine their future,” he said.