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Could be your last dance

Could be your last dance


Despite the dire warnings from doctors and at least two deaths from the controversial dance, 23-year year old Alicia “Fatty” Young says she’s not fazed.

“I am going to continue doing the ‘Dutty Wine’ dance because I know how far I can go,” she told SEARCHLIGHT.

The mother of a two year old girl said that she has been dancing with the group “Up Town Alliance” for six months and has made appearances in music videos and at several shows and is the life of the party.{{more}}

But the recently crowned second place winner of the Heineken Dutty Wine Competition is living for the thrill of the dance and doesn’t realise that she could end up injuring herself permanently or, worse yet, killing herself just because of what doctors tell SEARCHLIGHT is a high risk manoeuvre.

“Fatty” Young believes that girls get hurt because they get carried away trying to mimic the movements seen on television but to her these are just “camera tricks”.

“If a girl want to play stupid and spin she head round 50 times in a minute without stopping because she see it on TV, then she asking for trouble! I don’t force myself to do what I can’t do,” she explained with an air of confidence.

With origins from the “passa passa” fetes in Jamaica, it has been reported that two young women have died as a result of performing the popular dance, the most recent being 18-year-old Tanisha Henry of Jamaica who died three weeks ago.

But many dancers have not yet realised that a silent killer lurks behind the Dutty Wine that is jiving through the Caribbean. The intensity of the jiggy movement escalated when Jamaican DJ turned Dancehall singer Tony Matterhorn, released his “Dutty Wine Gal” tune.


His second verse gives instructions on how to do the Dutty Wine.

Bend your back and lift your head up

Turn side way, lift your leg up

Bend your face and twist it up

And turn true side like you know you

fed up (Whoa)

Turn roun like you know rose duck

Spin aroun cause you know how fi wuk

Lift it up back, then you breast it up

Back it up, cock it up, my girl dutty


The one movement missing from this “bruck out” anthem for female dancers is the rapid rotating head movement, which make dancers like Fatty feel sexy when they loosen their hair as it twirls round and round.

As they rapidly rotate the neck clockwise and anti-clockwise this gives a “theatrical effect” and on the dance floor where the beers flow and the music pulsates dancers like Fatty build up the momentum and wiggle their spine like a snake. They then swerve their hips in tight fitting jeans and send the legs flapping like butterfly wings leaving the men on the floor lust-struck.

Depending on how you view it, Dutty Wine could be either enticing or entangling, but it truly is spectacular to watch as those brave and flexible enough perform it.


Another part of the dance is the split and gyrating on the floor. The movement is easy to understand in light of the lyrics of verse three which are suggestive of a lifestyle associated with that of the 1970’s revolution of sexual freedom.

The lyrics are too explicit to be published here but in essence the song talks about sexual acrobatics and orgies, advocating: “Let sex be free”. It’s about “sex in the water, sex in the sea, sex in the bush, sex in a tree but if you on a bed I am not having sex with you. I want sex on the floor, sex on the TV, sex on the dresser ‘bruk up the figurine’, sex on the fan, sex anywhere”.

It goes further to say a man should have sex with one girl or “could a two a dem, send the crew of dem, I will grind them. Could a three a dem and if a four of dem send more a dem, I will wine them”.


Apart from the sexually transmitted disease associated with unprotected sex, doctors were concerned that even the most flexible contortionists could injure and ultimately kill themselves from performing the Dutty Wine stunt.

Chiropractor, Gregory Thomas, who practices in St Vincent and the Grenadines as well as vice president of the Barbados Sports Medicine Association, Dr Adrian Lorde, said that Dutty Wine is dangerous and can lead to injury or death.

“I think it is rather potentially dangerous. It should be outlawed in the Caribbean. It is surprising that only two persons have died as a result of the Dutty Wine,” Dr Lorde told SEARCHLIGHT.

At the crux of their prognosis is the long term damage or death that could occur as a result of damage to the spine and spinal cord.

The medical practitioners explained that the spine is like a switchboard for the body which if damaged could result in a range of problems ranging from breathing difficulties to paralysis.

The spine is made up of several bones called vertebrae through which passes the spinal cord. Between each vertebra is a disc which acts as a padding between the two. At each vertebra, nerves leave the spinal cord and branch into different parts of the body. It is through these that the brain sends signals so that feeling and actions can occur.

The swift acrobatic and prolonged movement of the neck during the Dutty Wine dance can dislocate the vertebrae – something chiropractors call “vertebral subluxation complex”. The effect is also equivalent to whiplash.

The disc between the vertebrae can become squished touching the raw nerve leading to severe and intolerable pain.

The specific concern by both Thomas and Dr Lorde is the seven vertebrae in the neck which are the primary support for the skull which contains the brain which is a jelly-like substance.

The nerves in this section control breathing and movement of the shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, and biceps. Severe damage could lead to a person becoming a quadriplegic (paralysed in both arms and legs).


While the cervical (neck) vertebrae will dislocate in some people, in others there will instead be accelerated wear and tear and the symptoms could be tell-tale signs that something is wrong.

Dr Lorde said that things such was numbness in the arms, forearms, and hands, breathing problems, headaches, dizziness, unsteady walking gait may be indicators of wear and tear while fainting spells and black outs, with the possibility of epilepsy (fits) are likely complications.

Thomas said that tell-tale signs of wear and tear to the thoracic vertebrae (from the neck to waist) could include allergies, sinus problems, menstrual cramps, impotence, irregular heartbeats, constipation and numbness in the legs and feet.

“I would like to ask those young persons in the Caribbean to desist from this potentially dangerous act done during the playing of music, at parties or wherever, as the consequences are many, and most likely could be serious and long-lasting if not fatal,” said Dr Lorde.

Several calls were placed to the popular Heineken Dutty Wine competition for them to comment on the risky dance but one official reached would not comment and referred us to another who did not return our calls.