Regina Eigbe: Pioneering Dance, Shaping Culture, and Amplifying Voices

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In a world where rhythm and movement intersect to tell stories, Regina Eigbe has emerged as a formidable force, reshaping the landscape of dance and choreography. She views dance as a language that transcends boundaries, and her work extends beyond the stage to ignite conversations and influence culture. By infusing dance with culture, she bridges the gap between continents and unites people through rhythm.

Eigbe’s  creative prowess has seen her grace the stage alongside luminaries like Sean Paul, Dua Lipa, Janet Jackson, and Robbie Williams. Her presence reverberates on platforms like the UK’s X Factor, in what she would eventually, in hindsight, call her first big break. Her collaborations with industry titans have showcased not only her immense talent but also her undeniable ability to seamlessly fuse her artistry with diverse genres and cultures. 

At the forefront of her endeavors is her revolutionary UGC (user-generated content) agency, which serves as a force that looks to empower dancers and artists to navigate the ever-evolving dance industry. Through this agency, Regina navigates uncharted territories, shaping the landscape of dance by giving creators a voice and a space to amplify their unique narratives.

Eigbe takes us on her journey from a small dance club to the grandest stages, unveiling the passion, determination, and transformative impact that define her remarkable trajectory.

A Humble Beginning

Eigbe’s love affair with dance was ignited as an 11-year-old in Leeds where an after-school dance club beckoned. What began as a casual pastime evolved into something more profound. On the cusp of university, at 18 and in a headspace all too familiar for teenagers, she decided to study accounting. Financial challenges led her to a crossroads that ultimately led to the unassuming dance club transforming into a beacon of purpose when she decided to enroll in a dance course at ShockOut Arts in Manchester. A challenging audition opened her eyes to the task ahead and instead of getting overwhelmed, it helped her solidify her commitment.

I wasn’t very good, they lied to me. I was crying in that audition. I thought, wow, this is what it means to actually dance, like, what have I been doing for the past how many years, I was not good. But because it was the first year of the course, I ended up getting into the course.”

During her first week of classes, an inexplicable feeling swept over her, and the decision to pursue dance professionally became crystal clear. In her words;

 “I got into the classes, and I remember it was a specific class that I was in, and I just had this overwhelming feeling, like, just goosebumps. I can’t explain it to you, but at that moment, my spirit was just telling me, this is actually what you’re supposed to do”.

Her journey, like that of any African child pursuing a creative career, wasn’t without hurdles. While her father initially resisted her choice and her mother was a little indifferent, her foster mum encouraged her to go where her passion led and her indomitable spirit prevailed. She sought to dispel misconceptions surrounding dance’s financial viability. With unwavering determination, she embarked on a path where she could carve out her destiny. Eigbe cites the power of her positive mind kept her going. 

The Big Breaks

Her breakthrough moments have played a pivotal role in her ascent. Her dance journey pivoted her to her first job as a dancer on the UK’s X Factor, she credits Brian Friedman and Jerry Reeves, and AMCK Dance Agency for taking a chance on her. As creative director for XFactor, Friedman saw what she could do and offered the platform which propelled her into the limelight, opening doors to opportunities that originally seemed beyond her reach. Her talent and passion quickly became apparent, leading her to stages like the Jingle Bell Balls, dancing with Sean Paul, Dua Lipa, Janet Jackson, and Robbie Williams. 

Her previous appearance on the UK’s X Factor provided a solid foundation for her to choreograph The Brits, which was a huge milestone in her career. So when she was given the opportunity to choreograph Wizkid’s show, whom she described as “one of the world’s biggest artists,” she was overtaken with emotion, a feat that still means so much to her.

“I feel like it is a  big break, obviously doing a stadium, choreographing one of the biggest artists. He’s not just the biggest artist in Afrobeats, let’s not do that. Let’s not put that in the sentence. One of the biggest artists in the world, period. Doing this stadium show. There’s not that many stadiums in the world., Wizkid, definitely my third big break. Yeah, that’s a huge success right there. I had no idea it would be this huge.” 

A large platform like that provided her with enough lessons and experiences to keep her going in her career.

A Force for Change

Eigbe ooks up to Paris Goebel, Fatima Nour, and Sean Bankhead, whose work ethic as dancers inspires her. She is also motivated by the desire to fully fund her company, Canvas, a dance agency/UGC (User Generated Content) company that she is still trying  to define; her desire to give back to other dancers and Nigerians is undeniable and her vision is to make a viable career out of dance by being the person who blazes the trail of dance with a business attached to it

As a mentor, Regina’s passion is evident in her desire to empower the next generation of dancers. Through her company, Canvas, she seeks to equip dancers with the tools they need to navigate the industry, maximize their potential, and command respect as artists. Regina envisions a world where dancers are recognized as the driving force behind the music and entertainment industry, not just relegated to the background.

Regina recognizes three special dancers for their resilience,  strength humility, and ability to keep doing good work despite their challenges 

“I would shout out Nife, Katisha. She was my assistant for the Wizkid’s show and I would shout out Dance God Lloyd from Ghana,

“Nife, because when I first met her, I felt like she was one of the people that understood where I was coming from without me even knowing where I was coming from in terms of, you know, building a business out of dance and being smart and making your brand. So Nife was understanding of that.”

“She’s built such a great brand. Katisha, because she’s an amazing, amazing dancer. She inspires me to train, to get better in my movement. And, you know, she’s a mother as well, she just keeps going. I just love it when people just keep going no matter what. Dance God Lloyd, because even though he has millions of followers and he’s famous in Ghana, he’s so humble and he still works every single day. And you can just tell that dance is his absolute passion. So those three, I would shout out.” 

She reveals a profound connection, reflecting on her fondest memory; she talks about a day in 2018 when she crossed paths with PictureKodak, in the heart of Ikeja. Their shared passion for dance blossomed as they collaborated on a series of dance videos. Amid this fun moment, PictureKodak guided Regina towards mastering the art of the “shaku-shaku,” a dance deeply rooted in Nigerian street culture.

Her admiration for PictureKodak’s talent and humility shines through her words. She is blown away by PictureKodak’s exceptional talent as well as her unwavering humility and remembers her for her dedication to her craft, irrespective of her fame or recognition, which resonates deeply with Regina. This humility serves as an unwavering source of inspiration, propelling both her and those around her to persevere relentlessly.

“I was staying at Ikeja, and we went round the back and we were dancing. We were making some dance videos,  And I remember that day,  we made like three dance videos or something.  And she was teaching me how to shakushaku properly.  And I remember she was like, oh, I have to hide my red hair because when people see it, they’ll know who I am.  And then we literally went round the back and we just did like a freestyle video.  And she was just so good”. 

In her reflection, Eigbe unveils a portrait of PictureKodak that transcends the artist’s spotlight. PictureKodak becomes an emblem of unyielding passion, resilience, and the unassuming grace that defines true greatness.

I just loved how she just, honestly, was very, very humble.  She just keeps going.  She does what she needs to do.  It doesn’t matter if she’s known here,  or there.  Her humility is inspiring and she just keeps working hard”

The Future Beckons

Looking ahead, Regina envisions herself at the forefront of choreography, scripting stories on the grandest stages, and contributing her unique cultural identity to every step she takes. With Afrobeats only beginning its ascent, she anticipates a future where Nigerian cultural vibrancy shines even brighter, and dance continues to be the universal language that unites us all.

Addressing the future of African dancers, she asserts that working smarter is paramount. Beyond honing dance skills, she advocates for a profound understanding of the entertainment industry. She believes that dancers should assert themselves as artists, integrating their talents into the broader creative landscape. This strategic and holistic perspective underscores Regina’s belief in the untapped potential of Afrobeat’s dancers.

At the heart of her journey lies the ambitious undertaking of “Canvas,” Regina’s brainchild. With Canvas, she envisions a multi-dimensional platform that transcends conventional definitions. The project amalgamates aspects of an agency, a user-generated content (UGC) hub, and a dance company, setting the stage for a dynamic paradigm shift in the industry. Eigbe’s focus isn’t solely on expanding her audience, but on sharing her insights with fellow dancers. Through Canvas, she aspires to empower dancers by imparting knowledge on leveraging their audience for maximum impact, exemplifying her commitment to collaborative success.

While shaping Canvas, Regina has a grand vision for her trajectory as well. She harbors aspirations of choreographing big shows that captivate global audiences, curating dances for immersive movies, and conceptualizing compelling choreography for impactful commercials. Whether her canvas spans Nigeria or the UK, unshakable dedication to weaving her Nigerian heritage into her work is evident. She takes pride in showcasing her culture as an integral part of her creative expression, embracing the innate vitality that being Nigerian embodies.

Eigbe’s connection to Afrobeats music runs deep, and she’s at the forefront of its burgeoning global rise. Her belief that Afrobeats is on the brink of a revolution mirrors her career trajectory. While the world recognizes the magnitude of Afrobeats’ impact, Eigbe believes that its true potential is only beginning to unfold. As Afrobeats captivates international audiences, she stands poised to seize the expansive opportunity it presents.

Regina Eigbe isn’t an artist merely following trends but one who is sculpting the very landscape she traverses. Her commitment to education, her audacious business endeavor, and her unyielding cultural pride intertwine to create a profile of an industry maverick. As she embraces the dynamic dance between her Nigerian heritage and her artistry, Eigbe emerges as a luminary, bridging cultures, fostering collaboration, and revolutionizing the world of dance and entertainment.