As the Caribbean Queen, Rihanna is from a part of the world known for creative dance moves. Does this mean the Birthday Cake singer can put on the moves?
Rihanna can dance and her main dance style is hip hop. Hip hop is derived from a dancing style that originated in Jamaica known as Jamaican dancehall. Her dancing capabilities have changed over the years as her career has become more and more successful. She has worked with choreographers and has even taken pole dancing lessons in the past.
You can read more below about Rihanna’s dancing skills, as well as how she learned to pole dance.
It should come as no shock that Rihanna can dance. Afterall, she is from Barbados where dance is a heavy part of their culture. However, coming up with dance routines for music videos and world tours takes a lot of help. That help comes from choreographers. Rihanna has worked mainly with two choreographers throughout her career, Tanisha Scott and Parris Goebel.
Tanisha Scott is a Canadian choreographer who has worked with artists like Drake, Sean Paul and Beyoncé. Most notably, Scott did the choreography for Drake’s Hotline Bling. Although she has stated that Drake’s dancing in the music video is pretty much all Drake.
In a 2017 interview with The Kit, Tanisha Scott talked about what it is like to work with Rihanna as a choreographer. When asked which of her celeb clients is the quickest to pick up on choreography, she responded “Rihanna, because we know each other very well. I know how she moves, and she knows how I move. So our vibe is like a symmetry, so it’s easy.”
Parris Goebel is a New Zealand hip hop choreographer. She goes by the name Parri$ and has a dance troupe called The Royal family who are three time winners of the World Hip Hop Dance Championship competition. She has worked with artists like Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, and Janet Jackson.
Most recently Parri$ worked with Rihanna on the choreography for her New York Fashion Week launch of Savage x Fenty. The lingerie fashion show was attended by a huge number of A-listers and featured over 40 models of all walks of life.
Painful Shoot for Umbrella
In her 2007 music video for the song Umbrella, Rihanna had to deal with an immense amount of pain. She had decided that she wanted to do something different for the music video and the video’s director, Chris Appelbaum, got creative.
In the music video, Rihanna is seen on her tiptoes in ballet slippers. Chris Appelbaum recalled in this MTV Music interview that “somehow she learned how to do it, and I think that it was really painful for her. But I think she was really determined to make it work, and she just went for it.”
This was a big move as Rihanna has traditionally used the style of dancing known as Jamaican Dancehall in her music videos, as well as on stage. Riri also uses a lot of hiphop in her music videos which is derivative of Jamaican Dancehall.
Learning to Pole Dance
Other than her ventures with choreographers and inventive styles in her music videos, Rihanna has also learned how to pole dance. In 2013, Rihanna took lessons from the pole dancer, Nicole Williams. She attended the lessons to prepare for the music video for her song Pour It Up.
Rihanna posted some photos of her learning how to pole dance to her Instagram. In this Instagram post, she said “My first pole lesson! #pouritup #bts”
You can watch the music video for Pour It Up by following the below YouTube link.
From dancehall and hip hop to pole dancing, one thing is clear, Rihanna has got the moves. She is not only a quick study in dance, but has the ability to pick up the basics of a diverse portfolio of styles.