Artist Spotlight: Elewu Dancers

What is your name?

My name is Abimbola Famuyiwa; my name is Bator Gueye and we are the Elewu Dancers.

Tell us a bit about yourself/background

Abi: I am 26 years old, Nigerian but a native New York resident who grew up in queens. Graduated from Long Island University with plans on obtaining a masters in public health or social work. I try my best to make Love and Christ priority in my life. I love music, basically whatever sounds nice to my ears. I once saw a quote, it said "be the love you want to see," and I try my best to live by that!

Bator: I'm a young Senegalese girl living in Harlem working hard and doing what she loves best which is dancing. I'm all about having fun and good vibes.

When did you start doing this (art/music/production/design etc.)?

Abi: I started taking dance seriously about five years ago. Music, thanks to my dad has always been in my life. Many Nigerians I know can relate to growing up hearing their parents play Sunny Ade, I.K. Dairo, etc. that is where my love for music began, but it wasn't until I was introduced to Congolese music that I fell in love with dance. I loved the sound of artist like Jessy Matador  Shakalewa and Serge Benyaud.  But there was one artist that took the cake, Fally Ipupa! Everything about his style, demeanor, dance, and voice even though till this day I have no idea what he says in his music I love it. I like to think I'm 1/8 Congolese (just for dance).

Bator: I always loved dancing but, I really starting dancing when I met my dance partner college.

How was the reaction/feedback from those around you (family/friends)?

Abi: Those that were able relate to the culture of the music were the most supporting and encouraging. Knowing how African parents are I was surprised that my mother did not have much of a problem with it.

Bator: Living in a Muslim household dancing isn't really accepted but I love dancing so nobody can stop me from doing just that.

What inspires your art?

Abi: Although my passion is Afrobeat, dancers of all genres inspire me. I spend hours watching videos of amazing hip-hop, reggae, and African dancers. Ezinne Asinugo, Ysabelle Capitule, and Lacoste Dalwear the list goes on. They have their own identity in their work that's probably the most inspiring, how their own imprint in their moves.

Bator: I really love music it inspires me to dance and forget all my problem when I'm going through it.

Who would you like to work with /who inspires you/ which artist do you admire?

Abi: Sharing the stage with anyone who loves to dance is joy to me.

Bator: I would really like to work with Serge Beynaud. I really love his music and the way he dance.

Future Plans?

Abi: I had the opportunity this past year of teaching youth dance and fell in love with it. Even if it's just 10 people I will love to teach again.

Bator: Dance my love away.

What advice do you have for anybody out there who wants to be an artist like you?

Abi: It doesn't hurt to have a plan for yourself. I'd recommend anyone trying to live there joy or turn a passion into a career to prepare themselves, not necessarily for the "what ifs," more so for how they will take what life throws their way both good and bad. Also, to always remember the joy of why you started

Bator: Do what you love and don't let anyone put down for tell you can't or should do what you love.

Elewu Dancers
Instagram: @elewu_dancers