Tofo Tofo: Mozambique Dance Group Inspires Beyonce’s Run The World (Girls)

Tofo Tofo Dances at Wedding [Source: uffeman77]

Tofo Tofo is a dance group from Mozambique that does Kwaito dance which is also related to pantsula or mapantsula:

“Boom Shaka, the first kwaito group, was also the first to create and popularize dance moves to accompany kwaito. The steps are said to offer a window into the everyday life of South Africans by building on traditional dance styles from the region. This new dance style has also led to discussion over gender relations. Kwaito dancing has brought on a new type of female display in South Africa. The fact that women dance independently and draw men to them has been redefining the gender boundaries for propriety, work, ethics and morality for the South African population.”

“Mapantsula is a male dominated dance that came about in the 1980s representing the lower class culture. This dance includes synchronized movements by large groups of male dancers.”

Frank Gatson Jr., the choreographer for Beyonce’s Run The World (Girls), credited Tofo Tofo for inspiring some of the dancing:

“my hats off to the Tofo Tofo guys [from Africa], ’cause none of us could imitate that…We had to bring them around to learn that [move], which is really, really interesting. They had such a great vocabulary of movement.”

They had seen the dancers on a YouTube video but then had trouble tracking them down:

“It was hard finding them. They were really in a remote area; we had to get the embassy people involved. That was a process that took about two months or more. Beyoncé really loved them and I’m pretty sure we’ll see them again. It was magical.”

However it took a South African writer to share the video above of Tofo Tofo dancing at a wedding.