The main bowl of the National Arts Theatre, Lagos was a beehive of heightened activity as thousands of budding dancers stormed the venue of the Lagos audition of the popular Maltina Dance All (MDA) family dance show to showcase their dancing skills as the quest to select family representatives for the Maltina dance academy continues. At the end of the long hours of competition, eight finalists emerged in the future battle to cart home the grand prize of 6 million naira, a brand new car and the highly coveted title of Nigeria’s number one dancing family. The huge turnout and skill exhibited by contestants, further confirmed Lagos, as undisputedly Africa’s major talent hub.
The eight dancers who were unanimously picked by the judges are: Blessing Ekpo, Gloria Idundun, Promise Enweribe, Peter James, Aniebet Emmanuel, Emmanuel Ibeotuche, Jackson Obinna and Ekwerre Elijah. They will however undergo comprehensive medical screening which is on-going and the medical fitness result will ultimately be the basis for the selection of their family considering the highly physical and mental rigours of a competitive dance competition like the MDA.
As expected, the Lagos auditions, was highly entertaining and indeed in consonance with this year’s Maltina Dance All theme, ‘The Evolution”. Contestants across all ages displayed a high level of dance dexterity which made it a bit challenging for even the judges to pick winners.
The first day witnessed dancers between the ages of 5-12 and 30 and above, compete for prizes ranging from brand new Home Theatres, Flat screen television sets and Blackberry smartphones. For the 5-12 year category; Sunday Dolapo, a 10 year old student of Kingsplace Secondary School, emerged overall winner. While Bankole Olamide, 11 and Ibukunoluwa Agbedo, 10, took the second and third positions respectively. For the 30 and above category; 35 year old Mrs. Oluwakemi Adetula emerged overall winner while Mr. Rasheed Balogun, 31 and Ibrahim Rasak, 42, came second and third respectively.
The second day was indeed intense as dancers between the ages of 13–19 and 20–30 battled it out. At the end, for the 13–19 year category, Tolu Okelowo, 19, Daniel Bernard, 17, and Daramola Oladimeji 19, came first, second and third respectively. For the 20-30 year category, Gloria Idundun, 24, Aniebet Emmanuel, 22, and Austin Ashor, 22, equally occupied the first, second and third positions respectively.
Commenting on the Lagos auditions, a member of the panel of judges, Bimbo Obafunwa, confessed that it was a very tough exercise. “As usual Lagos is always very rigorous, the contestants have shown that they really want to be in the Maltina academy. What we have seen so far shows that a great degree of dancers in Lagos appreciate Maltina Dance All and want to be a part of it. Because there were so many good dancers, it was somewhat challenging picking winners but eventually we were able to select just eight dancers. We looked at their versatility, the strength of the dancer, stamina, skill acquisition, transition from one move to the other, charisma when they come on stage and most importantly the ability to entertain and keep the audience going and of course the spirit of evolution”.
Obafunwa added that the quality of dance seen this year shows that Nigeria is really growing when it comes to dance.
From all indications so far, “The Evolution” is bound to excite, entertain and enliven the family space more than the TV audience would ever anticipate. Evidently, the stakes are higher, dance instructors are ready to hit the ground running and the Maltina brand is determined to enhance national family bond through the viable instrument of music and dance theatrics.