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Azonto dance
A man doing an Azonto dance move.
An Azonto move
Year Popularised in 2013
Country Ghana
Main Styles
Steps – knee bending – hip movements – clenching of fists
Derivative Styles
Influences Kpanlogo – boxing and other acrobatic movements – hand movements which mimic daily activities
Cultural Origins
Ga ethnic community in southern Ghana

This article is about the music genre and dance. For the songs, see Azonto (Fuse ODG song) and Azonto (Wizkid song).

Azonto is a dance and music genre originating from Ghana. It is known to have originated from a traditional dance called Kpanlogo from the coastal areas like Chorkor, James Town, La, Teshie, Nungua and in the port town of Tema, all part of the Greater Accra Region.[1]

The dance involves a set of hand movements that either mimic everyday activities or are meant to signal an often amusing intention. It begun with one or two step movements but has been advanced to more complex and almost acrobatic movements. Just like most African dances, knee bending and hip movements are elements to dancing it. The dance has effectively evolved from a few rudimentary moves to embrace depictions of ironing, washing, driving, boxing, grooming, praying, swimming, and others.[2]


The term "Azonto" which originally was a rude reference to wayward girls, has been adopted as the handle for a Ghanaian fast-beat dance music genre and the accompanying dance that goes with it. It originates from the word Azontoa (pronounced in some dialects as Abontoa) which means an ugly street girl. Originally used in the early 1990s in songs that were intended to offend female student schools that were not much liked, the word seems to have become an acceptable word since then.[citation needed]

Clenched fists often used by dancers mimic boxing movements.

Pop music researcher Jesse Weaver Shipley states that like hiplife, the popularity of azonto is a direct result of its interactions in diaspora. "Azonto, in content and form, is the embodiment of circulation, though the meanings attributed to its mobility vary. Azonto is identified with Ghanaian indigeneity by those abroad and with cosmopolitanism by those at home."[3]

International popularity[edit]

Azonto was popularized on social media by the music videos that portrayed the dance form with fast-pace tempos, home-made dance instructional videos uploaded on YouTube with no commercial intent, and group choreographers done by mostly Ghanaians and other African nationals living in the UK.[4]

Footballers like Asamoah Gyan and Emmanuel Adebayor have performed the dance as part of their goal celebrations,[5] and John Carew uploaded a video of himself and his son dancing to Fuse ODG's "Antenna".[6]

Following the worldwide interest in the Ghana's Azonto dance, and the name of Azonto itself being used for a varieties of entertaining activities, the Azonto Ghana Commission was created organise the Ghana's most populous arts and entertainment (Azonto) and also use the Commission as a department to support groups or individuals using the Azonto dance and other form to promote Ghana, peace and unity among people from all walks of life.


The Most Popular Azonto Tracks of 2012[7][8]
Track Title Artiste Album Title
"You Go Kill Me" Sarkodie (featuring E.L)
"Dangerous" Sarkodie
"Zooze" Koo Maanu (featuring No-Tyme)
"Move To The Gyal Dem" Donae'o (featuring Sarkodie)
"Lapaz Toyota" Guru
"Aboodatoi" Gasmilla
"Chop Kenkey" Joey B
"Twame Lala" Stay Jay
"Obuu Mo" E.L
"Kaluu" E.L
"Yenko Nkoaa" Eduwodzi (featuring Stay J)
"Azonto" Fuse ODG (featuring Itz Tiffany)
"Kolom" Buk Bak
"Sokode" Keche
"Body Lotion" Keche
"Azonto Ghost" Bisa Kdei
"Aluguntugui" Keche
"Moko Ni" 4x4
"Antenna" Fuse ODG
"Seke" Dr Slim (featuring Double)
"Ayi" Criss Waddle (featuring Bisa Kdei)
"Azonto" Wizkid


A Ghanaian performing the Azonto.

Ghanaian dancing Azonto Move 1.jpg
Ghanaian dancing Azonto Move 2.jpg
Ghanaian dancing Azonto Move 3.jpg
Ghanaian dancing Azonto Move 4.jpg

Azonto Related Videos[edit]

See also[edit]

Dance portal


  1. ^ "Ghana’s Azonto Dance hits global entertainment stage". Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Azonto - The New Music and Dance Craze in Ghana". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Shipley, J. W. (2013). Transnational circulation and digital fatigue in Ghana’s Azonto dance craze. American Ethnologist, 40, pp. 363,, retrieved 6 Feb 2015 
  4. ^ "Ghana's Azonto craze takes over dancefloors across the world". Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Asamoah Gyan vs Adebayor Azonto Dance (watch). YouTube, uploaded on 9 Feb 2012.
  6. ^ Dawes, Mike (21 March 2013). "Carew shows off some Dad dance moves to New Azonto track". Mail Online. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Top 10: Songs That Put Azonto on the Map". Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "GC Music Chart: Top 10 Songs Of The Week". Retrieved 27 January 2013.