Dancers are now getting better recognition in entertainment industry, but… —Tundun Cymbals
The Cymbal Dance Group, led by Agboola Tundun (the only male) are one of the fastest rising groups in the South-West and is the toast of entertainers and events organisers across Nigeria. Tundun told ROTIMI IGE about their dance concert slated for June, among other issues relating to the dance industry.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Agboola Olatundun. leader of ‘The Cymbals Dance Team’ and the initiator of #DWOC (Dance With Olatundun Cymbals), the biggest and first ever major dance concert in Ibadan. I am a graduate of The University of Lagos where I studied Human Kinetics and Health Education.
What inspires you to dance?
The feeling that comes with expressing myself as a dancer, my area of passion, I sincerely can’t find it anywhere else. This fulfillment cannot be felt doing any other thing. Dance gives me freedom of expression and whenever I hear music or even any rhythmic sound, there’s this inevitable feeling of the need to soak myself into the rhythm of the sound. I am sometimes inspired to dance by the situation around me, good or bad. To be honest, it has become a total way of life and it’s difficult to really pin-point the reason I dance.
Tell us about DWOC
DWOC is an acronym for ‘Dance With Olatundun Cymbals’. It is an unstoppable movement channeled towards bringing into limelight the third and most ignored genre of art, dance. DWOC is set to be the biggest and first ever major dance concert in Ibadan. We need to show Africa and the world at large that dance is an inextricable part of entertainment. We claim to want the value given to other branches of entertainment (comedy and music) but we rarely invest like they do. We are set to make history with this event.
What’s your vision for DWOC?
This industry of dance deserves to be respected, it is indeed one of the important components in show business but one way or the other we are lagging behind, we are losing our respect and value. I strongly believe one day, the world will give us the recognition we deserve. This is my vision for DWOC.
Seeing that the industry is not thriving yet, what keeps you strong when things get difficult?
I would say my faith in God and the drive to succeed. Those two things are the constants in my life and without them I really don’t know where I would be. Let me also say my team members, Adeyemi Modupeoluwa and Adeyemo Oreoluwa are always there for me through it all.
Also, I believe never to adjust any performance to the crowd. Always respect the audience by putting in your best performance. You never know who is in the audience or can change your life. If you honor where you are with your best, you will get to the ultimate. Throw yourself and everything at it.
Who is / are your role model(s)
Agboola Babatunmise inspires me with his determination and unending drive for success. Olujobi Olusegun Senior inspires me with his creativity, leadership skills and commitment to a course. Michael Jackson, the late King of Pop will forever be my model with his discipline, hard work, creativity and his deliberate commitment to self improvement when he was alive.
What are some little known facts about yourself you would want others to know about?
I’m wholeheartedly in love with football, I play and watch it regularly, a proud supporter of FC Barcelona. I love to eat and read books on life lessons.
What are your hobbies asides dancing?
I love playing football, reading and exploring new areas.
What’s your view on the dance industry?
The industry for dancers and choreographers is yet to receive the recognition is solely deserves. I believe more should be done for us. The perception towards our industry needs 360 degrees turn around. We are battling on several fronts to survive. We lack adequate dance facilities, very limited number of dance studios. Furthermore, there aren’t enough platforms that completely embrace and encourage dancing as a brand. The road has been really tough but interesting, we will continue to work till we eventually make it through. Despite all these shortcomings, we can still say the dance industry has grown to an extent. We now have a reasonable amount of control on how we want to be paid, we see dancers gracing red carpets, get invited for interviews and award shows; dancers now get nominated for awards. It’s a big plus.
Who can dance?
Everybody can dance, but not everybody that can dance is a dancer. The term ‘dancer’ is professional and is basically meant for the profession minded individuals. All of us can dance but not all of us are dancers.
What did you discover about the industry that you would want others to know about?
I would tell them that the industry is very hard but it is worth it. The most important part is to remember who you are, not just your unique qualities as a dancer, but understanding yourself as a person. Don’t let anything change that. Always place humility above all but be wise because the hungry foxes in the industry tend to take advantage of it. Lastly, never put money first, grow your brand, grow yourself first and then the money will flow.