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Last updated: 17 November, 2006 - Published 13:34 GMT
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Is it the dance of death?
The Dutty Wine is the new dance-hall hit in the Caribbean
After the outrage caused by the Passa-passa dance, mainly over what some of its critics felt was its lewdness, another new dance with reggae dance-hall connections is all the rage…and cause of much outrage.

The Dutty Wine a new frenzied dance which originated in Jamaica has as many tongues wagging as it has necks twirling.

It's the neck twirling - or attempts at doing that - by mainly young women, which has many people worried.

Dr Winston Jadusingh a doctor who practices in Jamaica cautions: "Essentially the body was not designed to undergo that type of stress."

He say's it’s not a question of the fitness of the individual. It's the sheer strain that the spinal column is subjected to.”


A recent death in Jamaica of a young woman who was taking part in a Dutty Wine competition was linked to the dance, although it's not clear if she died as a result of it.

Dr Jadusingh is not in favour of banning the dance as he feels it would only drive it underground and away from any organised effort to 'sensitise' its patrons of the dangers.

"A much better approach would be to educate people about the risks involved."

The Dutty Wine is gaining in popularity throughout the Caribbean largely because of the song that carries the same name, by the Jamaican reggae artiste Tony Matterhorn.

In Grenada and Barbados there have been calls for dancers to exercise caution.

Dutty Wine involves a frenzied whipping of the neck

Allan Duncan, a physical education instructor in the Ministry of Sports in Grenada, puts the Dutty Wine in the category of physical exertion that requires special training and optimum physical conditioning.

"The body is constructed in such a way that you have to train for such physical performance and I don't know if they train for that."

But dance instructor Keith Williams doesn't go that far.

While accepting that there are risks involved, he feels that adequate preparation, as for any activity that involves physical exertion, should suffice.

"You need to have proper warm-up.

"I guess people go to the dancehall in their normal state and they just want to overwork the articulation of the body."

One Dutty Wine afficionado advises: "I won't recommend that anybody not accustomed doing anything physical such as exercising, just get into the Dutty Wine."

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