Sun | Feb 23, 2020

DHQ Missy fired up with passion

Published:Friday | July 26, 2019 | 12:21 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
DHQ Missy.
DHQ Missy.

Cast a brief look at the music video for Addi Right Size by Vybz Kartel and Lolaa Smiles, and then take a peep at the visuals for Konshens’ Don’t Worry and Sexin’ tracks. The one thing these three videos have in common is attractive females performing sensual choreographies to the slow-whine-inducing rhythms. With closer study, a reviewer may just find that there is another shared element that will have them saying, “That’s the same dancer”. And if, out of curiosity, the names of the songs are typed on Instagram, the page of Oshanick White, or DHQ Missy as she is known within dancing circles, is likely to show up in the feed.

The professional dancer/choreographer has been a featured dancer in a few music videos, but somehow, it would be erroneous to label her a video vixen because White is so much more. She sits part time in the position of fire safety director and has dreams of being out in the field as a fire-fighter. It is a dream born out of a tragic memory she said. “I lost my brother in 2009 after he choked on medicine that was incorrectly prescribed for him. He died in my mother’s arms, and I have always thought if the emergency services team had responded immediately, he would still be here. I want to be part of a team that saves lives and I am halfway there.”

White, however, is “literally dancing through the motions and emotions”.

Crowned ‘dancehall queen’ in Brooklyn and Florida (in 2016 and 2017), the 24-year-old rising dance star has managed to catch the attention of popular entertainment groups as well as recording artistes. The title, she says, is a “simple formality” in the mission that she has set out to complete.

Full of gratitude for the “enriching” exposure gained over the past five years, White has come to terms with her exceptional talent. “I have accepted that this talent is a gift and recognised what I can do with the background knowledge, but I knew I needed to get the attention of the wider audience first. One of my dance teachers, Shae Brown, used to drill it into me, ‘Know your audience’. And it’s important, along with how you perform, how you dress, and even the mere facial expressions.”

Summers in Jamaica

White’s family relocated from the Kingston 11 community of Waterhouse to Florida when she was only three years old, but there was no abandoning her native culture, she said.

“My parents made sure that my summer holidays were spent in Jamaica. There, my education in theatre and cultural dance, such as Poco(mania) movements, was obtained, and I also had the opportunity to compete in several festival competitions hosted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission,” White told The Gleaner.

Entertainers like Hood Celebrityy, Stefflon Don, and more recently, dancehall’s proclaimed sex symbol Dexta Daps, have seen the dance techniques of DHQ Missy. She did promotional dance videos to several of Dexta Daps’ raunchy tracks for social media as well as Shenseea’s Blessed, which the artistes reposted on their pages and received over 300,000 views.

“Those artiste endorsements help a great deal, putting dancers like me on tours. It is challenging to get on tours unless a dancer decides to independently fund his or her own tour,” she said. “Some choreographies are frowned upon, but I don’t want to be in the negative limelight, especially dancing sexually with artistes on stage, but I want to use it to my advantage.”

She is not worried about negative feedback and remains concerned only about what her relatives think.

“My siblings are supportive and push me constantly. And my mother doesn’t mind because I am focused and keep mi foot pon gas speeding past all bad vibes or negative energy. I have been dancing from in my mother belly,” she quips. “My mother is actually the person who placed me in dance classes and competitions to keep me from ‘bad behaviour’ and while I behave ‘bad’ on stage, the concept of self-control has been fully grasped. People never know how to control me in my teenage years, but dance has contributed to the various personality transformations.”

She believes that she has acquired the structure and foundation to transcend all classes and exceed the expectations of the global audience. She wants to see how far the art of dance can take her and also continue to earn to support herself. White has consistently asked her mother for patience and time to build her brand and names dancehall entertainer Konshens as a mentor in the journey she is taking.

“I am happy to be witness to the level of professionalism he [Konshens] has demonstrated and thank him for all his advice more than even the opportunities to share my talent on screen. He is one individual who has motivated me to work even harder and advised me to never get caught up in the happenings and in self, and that by doing so, I will get the right recognition and in the right places,” she concluded.