University Of Uyo Physical And Health Education Students Hold Sports/Dance Event

By Cornelius Ehimiaghe

The Town Campus of University of Uyo (Akwa Ibom State) was agog with excitement, as third year students of the Department of Physical and Health Education, exhibited their dancing skills, as part of the practical aspect of third year course: "Traditional Dances and Sports in Nigeria." The course is made up of two parts (theory and practical). Examinations are conducted both for theory and practical, though the practical aspect of the course, carries more mark.

The event which was held on 11th April 2023 had over five hundred spectators in attendance from within and outside the university community. Among whom were Professor Etefia Ekanem (the Dean of students affairs), Professor Imaobong Akpan (the Dean of Faculty of Education), Professor Ini Jona (the Chairman Senate Business Committee).

The 47 third year students who were divided into nine groups thrilled the spectators to different traditional dances from different parts of Nigeria. These include: Ekõmbi and Abang dance (Efik), Atilogwu (Igbo), Abre dance (Annang and Ibibio), Bata dance (Yoruba), Mõninkem (Ejagham), Uta dance (Annang and Ibibio), Asian uboikpa dance (Ibibio), Swanghe dance (Tiv), Oghene dance (Igbo), Fulani milk maids dance Fulani).

The costumes of the students, dance steps and instruments reflected the dance of the community or ethnic group they fall into. The course lecturer. Dr Grace Ataha introduced the course and started the dance demonstration with a display of dance steps from different Nigerian tribes. This was them followed by the students who had five minutes to display their dance skills with a view of wowing the judges, who were drawn from other Departments of the university.

Dr Grace Ataha stated at the end of this successful event that given the diversity of the sports and entertainment industries in Nigeria, students of this course would be equipped with the knowledge, skills and practical experience of the relevance of dance as part of sport exercise, choreography, events organizing, as well as the relevance of singing and dancing in motivating athletes during sports events.

Dr Ataha who is a Netball Africa certified instructor. and a sport for change activist is of the view that dancing is an empowering tool that could help women to reduce their level of stress. Finally, Dr Ataha stated that she hopes that in future, some of her students would positively contribute their own quota to the repertoire of modern dance steps that have made the Afrobeat musical videos by Nigerian artists big hits in the international music scene.