#TuesdayTurnUp: ‘This Is America’ Choreographer Sherrie Silver Demos Her Favorite Dances for Vogue

Steven Brahms/Vogue

I don’t know about you, but I’m dragging a bit this morning. Since we’re a day late for #MondayMotivation, how about a little #TuesdayTurnUp?

Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” video made a major impact when it debuted in May, not in the least because Glover debuted some new African-inspired dance moves, courtesy of self-proclaimed “African dance queen choreographer” Sherrie Silver.

So, when I learned that the Rwandan-born 23-year-old—who has been going viral with choreography and tutorials on her YouTube channel for years—had hit the streets of Astoria, Queens, N.Y., to give a brief rundown of five of her favorite African dances for Vogue, it felt like just the right way to start the day.


In less than two minutes, Silver, who teaches choreography all over the world, demonstrates dances from South Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, and her native Rwanda; namely, the Gwara Gwara, the Hipjook, the Neza, the Snakula, and Nigerian craze the Shaku Shaku. And because it’s Vogue, Silver, of course, does it all in designer clothing, including pieces from Jade Swim, Phlemuns, Nike, Koche, Nφdress, Cushnie et Ochs, and Araks.

Vogue’s video is set to “Tribal Mix” by Ugandan artist Faizal Ddamba Mostrixx, but if it’s the “This Is America” choreography you’re still trying to nail, Silver has a two-part tutorial on her YouTube page (hint: the Gwara Gwara, Shaku Shaku and Neza all feature heavily in Gambino’s video).

“Neza means ‘good’ in Kinyarwanda,” Silver told Vogue. And as for the good the choreographer hopes to put into the world, it’s to “take Afro dance and Afro culture to the world, and then take the world to Africa.”

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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