When Childish Gambino’s video for This Is America dropped in May it instantly became a viral sensation. It’s now on over 314 million views and counting in just under two months, and the messages in the video have been widely dissected by a lot of people on the internet.
One of the best parts of the video is the dancing. A mixture of African and American styles, it is unique in its premise and offers the world a new look at dances that we've been doing for centuries.
So who exactly is the brain behind these moves? A 23-year-old, Rwandan born, UK raised woman named Sherrie Silver. She recently spoke to the BBC about doing the choreography for Gambino’s video and how it changed her life.
So how did a young woman like this get to do the dance movies for one of the biggest songs of the year? She tells the BBC that it all started when Childish Gambino’s manager’s niece saw her video on YouTube and told him to “check this girl out”. Then he showed the video to Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover and it all went from there.
Apparently there was a lot of collaboration and everyone had a “vision”. Sherrie says she wanted there to be lot of happiness in the video and not have the dance moves be “robotic”. She even teaches the audience how to do one of the moves from the video, which she invented, called the Neza.
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Sherrie says she’s proud to be African and of the countries, like South Africa, she’s visited. “I stand for taking Africa to the world, and taking the world to Africa through dance," Sherrie says in the video. "This is important to me because I'm so proud to be African... and I think the whole world needs to know what we're about — that we're not just about poverty, disease, and sadness that you see in the media. But we're also about happiness, dance, fashion, passion."
Sherrie also talks about her childhood, growing up African and being a dancer in the video.
Check out her videos on how to learn the dance moves from This Is America below:
And Sherrie isn’t keeping her success to herself. She’s been giving back to the community. She’s been able to donate mosquito nets, blankets and food to communities in need and has also helped homeless children get off the street.
It’s amazing to see a young woman become successful on a global scale and take a positive message with her about herself and our continent.
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