Dance choreographer Baby Ice is far from pleased with how dance enthusiasts have regarded late dancer Ice’s legacy. It is for this reason that he has spent the past two weeks orchestrating a workshop that will pay homage to the ‘Gully Creepa’ creator, come January 15 at Belleh 23 in Kingston.
“Ice is one of the dancers who gave a lot to the dancehall community, and it is sad that a lot of people don’t know anything else about him except the fact that he made Gully Creepa,” Baby Ice told BUZZ. “There isn’t even a real biography for Ice. I am the first person to write one for him detailing his journey and even things like his date of birth which people who were close to him don’t even know.
He continued: “Through this workshop I want to get his legacy out there, highlighting some of the moves he created inspired by the disco genre like ‘Rubba Bounce’, ‘Cobra’, ‘Gully Creepa’ and ‘Twista’. I also want to show how he influenced my life and my style of dancing, cause my hit dance, ‘Wallaballa’, stems from Gully Creepa.”
“Ice is one of the dancers who gave a lot to the dancehall community.”— Baby Ice
The two-hour workshop, dubbed ‘The Legacy Lives On’, will include a video presentation, lecture, Ice’s repertoire and culminate with moves from 3rd Dimension, Baby Ice’s eight-member dance group.
“I know no other dancer has presented a thorough workshop like what I have lined up. It’s gonna be memorable, and I want to do as much workshops in Jamaica and who knows, Europe next.”
Black Roses Crew
David Alexander Smith, popularly known as Ice, formed part of the Lincoln Crescent, Black Roses Crew, which included community leader William ‘Wille Haggart’ Moore and Gerald ‘Bogle’ Levy. Moore was murdered in 2001 and Levy shared a similar fate in 2005. Ice also fell victim to gun violence three years later, leaving member Boysie to carry on the Roses’ name.
Baby Ice, whose given name is Stephan Ledgister, said his workshop will not “sugarcoat the life Ice led”, but give credit where it is due.
“Ice was a troublemaker, but him do his fair share inna dancehall, and persons nah look at di fact seh he was one of the neatest and fiercest dancers,” he said. “If mi seh who is Gerald Levy everybody can seh Bogle, Mr Wacky and give his whole dance catalogue. Bogle did a lot and I have to show him respect, but so did Ice and other dancers who are teaching dancehall culture worldwide like Boysie and Orville Hall.”
The 25-year-old recalled first meeting Ice at an event in his Waterhouse community. The exchange led to the late dancer naming him Little Ice, and a second exchange, while he was doing ‘Gully Creepa’ at RETV’s high school tour, birthed his current performance name, Baby Ice.
“From I quit Sutherland last year, dancing has been working.”— Baby Ice
A graduate of Jamaica College, he was torn between a father who wanted him to pursue athletics and a mother who wanted him to earn a college degree. Financial constraints after an injury paved the way for Baby Ice to pursue his dancing dream, which he has been doing full-time since August.
“I did nine-to-five for six years. I have a child and told my baby mom to give me six months to do dancing to see how far I can reach. I told her a nuh all the time the money a go come in, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll get a job. From I quit Sutherland last year, dancing has been working, I’ve been doing a lot of roadshows for different companies like Digicel, Romeich Entertainment, Coca Cola, KFC and Pizza Hut, while having a few classes here and there.”
He hopes to have more workshops as the year progresses, with two already in the works for February and April.