Boysie Roses on sixth European tour

March 10, 2023
Boysie Roses leading a class.
Boysie Roses leading a class.
Boysie Roses (fifth right) with some of his students.
Boysie Roses (fifth right) with some of his students.

Legendary dancer Boysie Roses is booked and busy on his latest tour of Europe.

Spreading dancehall and Jamaican culture for more than two decades, the dancer-turned-dance instructor said that the interest in, and demand for dancers has skyrocketed "to the point where many of our talents are migrating from the island".

"I'm not one of the dancers seeking to leave my country permanently, but it is important for me to plan out these tours and spend an extended period of time to engage the people and build lasting connections," he told THE WEEKEND STAR.

The tour started last week, with his first stop in Belgium, and it runs for three months. He is currently in Poland, which, he has observed, is taking dancehall "more seriously" than persons would expect.

"It is flourishing on the scene," he said. Based on the success and reception of the audience from previous tours to cities across Europe, he has expanded the tour to include some of the places he has not visited, including Milan in Italy, and Toulouse, the fourth-largest city in France.

"I have approximately 13 cities to go, with dance classes and lectures lined up in all cities," he said, adding that it is also a promotional tour for his book, The Inside of Black Roses, "which has been sold out three times".

Boysie Roses, given name Lonsdale Guy, became a published author in 2020 when he collaborated with Wah Gwaan Prague dancehall school, based in the Czech Republic.

He said, "The next stop is France, and I'm feeling good. I know I have to put in the work to make that money. I can't speak for any other dancer, but it is definitely worth it, having done this six times now. But we all have to start from somewhere to get where we want to be, and one must gain experience to share with the students."

The dancer, who is the last living member of the original Black Roses Crew of Lincoln Crescent, has a signature style of lecturing which always includes taking the class "back to basics" to maintain the authenticity.

"Jamaican dancers need to value themselves and the culture; keep it alive to get persons coming to the island. For me, starting at the root is it. Lots of the younger dancers are creating and doing well in the area, but still don't know the history. It's not right to be standing in front of a class, especially of foreigners, who have possibly heard of Bogle and will ask questions about him, yet the dancer/teacher can't answer," he said.

"Also, lots of the dance moves being created now is not for everything. I think it's better to teach where it's coming from to where it's at. Combining old school with new school keeps the people interested. And, if we just stand around watching trends, it will fade away and the people may not even come to Jamaica, because they feel them get what them want or all them can get. We have to challenge the people consuming our culture; give them something to learn, rehearse and study," Boysie Roses continued.

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