Tanisha Henry, an 18 year-old resident of Beacon Avenue in Thompson Pen, became the first official causalty of the 'Dutty Wine' dance when she died this morning right in the middle of a 'School Uniform' party in her community.
YardFlex.com went to the Spanish Town hospital hoping to get some information relating to her death but a "Dr. Knight' who was the physician on duty at that time was not there. Our investigations took us to Beacon Avenue where we spoke to her mother, who with tears standing in her eyes, managed to blurt out the story in between heaving sobs.
"When I go there, dem ask if she was doing the Dutty Wine dance. I told them yes, and the doctor said that it was probably it that killed her because she have a cut on her forehead...there was a big crowd at the hospital...Tanisha was well loved by people...she was going to do so much with her life," her mother, Linda Henry, told a reporter.
'Dutty Wine', the dance craze that ruled the Summer with its infectious chorus penned by selector-turned-deejay Matterhorn , has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon spawning dances all over Jamaica and even overseas, and the dance has even made it to Youtube. Still, there had been health concerns voiced by medical professionals about the possibility of serious injuries from the swinging head-rotations which are a key feature of the dance. Since the dance became popular, there had been wild unsubstantiated rumours which circulated about females breaking their necks, and of others sustaining muscular injuries, while doing the dance. However, this is the first death that could be directly attributable to the dance, but it may be too early to assign blame as an autopsy is yet to be done.
"She wasn't sick or anything. No asthma, she was healthy healthy so this is shock, when mi see har lie down, it come in like me inna one bad dream. Tanisha just gone. Later this week, we will find out when dem do the autopsy, but it strange, imagine yu pickney get up go dance, and her life just end so," she said, as a tear made its way down her wrinkled face. "She just gone."
Doctors warn that persons who are described as "pre-morbid", that is, having an existing condition that could be exacerbated by doing the dance, to desist from doing trying to 'Dutty Wine'.
Will this death stop the spread of the dance? Only time will tell.