Legenddance Kenya: we started dancing in church, but it not pays our bills
By Silas Nyamweya | January 18th 2022 | 4 min read
Talent can really pay if you know how to use it well. This is the philosophy that drives a group of dancers from Mowlem in Nairobi.
Legenddance Kenya was birthed in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County in 2017, initially, as a church group. It comprised of youth who came together to exploit their dancing talent in church as a way of keeping them away from social ills such as crime and drug abuse.
“We started the team as a way of avoiding idleness at home and utilising our God-given talents,” says Edwin Rama, one of the pioneer members, adding that “Our group only comprises individuals who are passionate about dancing.”
Since then, the group, whose membership now stands at six, has turned their passion into a full-time business and, according to Rama, it pays the bills.
“In the time that we have been in the industry, we have come to realise that dancing is a business just like any other and by investing in your craft financially, mentally and physically the outcome is positive. This makes one take it seriously as a career,” Rama, who is the leader of the group, told City Biz.
To find potential clients, the group embarked on a serious marketing campaign that saw them advertise and showcase their skills on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.
Luckily, Zetech University was in need of some good dancers and after assessing their prowess, they contacted them for a deal in 2018. The members were happy to have found their first corporate client and put up their best performance. It was a major success.
“Our first performance at Zetech University was electrifying as we made the crowd of students chant our name repeatedly after the show,” explains Rama.
Other corporate clients have since come on board, including Diageo, which hired them for the Smirnoff Battle of the Beats, Safaricom, Coca-Cola, Eastmatt Supermarket, Oppo and StarTimes.
“What gives us motivation is that we got the chance to work and interact with big names amongst event organisers, promoters, singers and DJs in the industry,” adds Rama.
In a good month, the group makes close to Sh500,000 as the minimum fee for a show/event is capped at Sh50,000. Usually, they share whatever revenue they generate.
The group’s marketing approach entails showcasing their skills and approaching corporate entities on their ability to market/promote their brands on social media. They have also been receiving referrals from people who know them and clients who have used their services.
“We are very active online and we use our different social media platforms to market and push our content. From time to time, we take the initiative to do groundwork by going physically to the streets and interacting with people to increase our fanbase, including in the community,” says Rama.
The group’s vision is to become one of the biggest names in the dancing industry.
“Our biggest vision and ambition is to make Legenddance an incorporated company with a talent agency through which we can help other dancers grow into professionals. With time, we will also grow the business into the international market by selling our Kenyan content to the world,” he says.
Just like any other organisation or group, the team has experienced various challenges, including disagreements during project planning where a member or members oppose a certain idea but which they resolve by ensuring they strike a balance.
Others include change of plans by a client at the last minute, forcing the team to adjust their programme and thus resulting in a loss.
Besides, members have to consider other business ventures when they have no shows to attend to ensure they are not faced with financial uncertainty. Rama opines that with passion and desire, anyone can be a good dancer if he or she puts the required effort into it.
“It is possible to become a good dancer even if you don’t have talent. We also have people who could initially not dance to any beat but whom we have trained to become good dancers and choreographers. It’s all about self-drive and encouragement from trainers. We would really like to see more people getting into dancing and embracing it as a career,” he adds.
Rama also encourages those willing to join the industry to do so provided they want to do it professionally and have strategies on how they will turn themselves into a brand.
“Mentorship is very important in every line of work and to those starting dance, they should seek it from those more experienced in the industry and with guidance, they will be good to go,” he offers.
“We have a lot of potential and energy that goes in vain as we idle around and as we know an idle mind leads us into the negativity that is crime, drugs etc... they should find out what they are good at and work on it as nowadays white-collar jobs are scarce and we are in a digital era.”
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