Counts drumming and dancing

Social Association VdK Germany e.V.

Without words: the dance is his language

Dodzi Dougban's handicap is no obstacle for him - the deaf hip-hop dancer is one of the best in Europe

He is a dancer with body and soul. He loves moving to music. To music he can't hear. The multiple European champion in hip-hop dancing, Dodzi Dougban, is deaf. He feels the music, feels the bass, the drumming of the drums. The 37-year-old has the rhythm in his blood. He not only presents his incomparable feeling for movement on stage, but also passes it on to children and young people.


YouTube video: Dodzi Dougban dances hip-hop


The stage design is reduced. A long table with three legs in the middle, a white cloth from the ceiling. Dodzi Dougban and his dance partner Wagner Moreira step out of the dark into the light, into the focus, move in sync with the music. It is not noticeable that one does not hear the minimalist sounds. Just the expressive dance, the soulful movements. "Does a table need four legs to be a table?"the staging asks "L" of the international inclusive culture project "Un-Label", in other words "Do not stamp". "Does a dancer need his or her hearing to be a dancer?" Dodzi Dougban's dance gives the answer: no.

Dancing is as much a part of his life as green is to spring. "For me it is like a flower that unfolds"explains the artist. On his mother's back, wrapped in a cloth, he rocks to African folklore as an infant, internalizing the sense of rhythm. The ear infection, which made him deaf as a child, does nothing to change that. On the contrary. Dance is Dodzi Dougban's language.

He communicates with his hearing environment through movements. He started his professional dance career at the age of 21. He is several times German and European champion in hip-hop dancing. Compete with hearing dancers who lack what the Recklinghauser has: an incomparable body feeling.

Hear with your body

But how does dancing work without hearing the music? "I can perceive the beat, feel the vibration of the bass", explains the 37-year-old. "You can't compare it to the dance of a hearing person." With live music, the drums can adapt to their movements, with canned music this is not possible. No problem for the deaf. “For me, dancing is also mathematics.

I don't always feel the bass. But then I'm creative. I have my own way of counting. ”Although he approaches the choreography differently, inclusion on the dance floor is a matter of course. Not only among professional colleagues with and without disabilities, also in dance classes, the Dodzi Dougban in the creative center "Art 62" in Herten in the Recklinghausen district. Communication with body language works smoothly with hearing children and adolescents. "They also understand a bit of sign language." He smiles. For example, stroking the head in a circle with the palm of your hand means: "We're starting now."

In any case, the 37-year-old has the feeling that children and young people deal more openly with disabilities than many adults. "It should be normal that there are dancers and actors with disabilities"he emphasizes. This necessity expresses the theater production for which Dodzi Dougban is currently on the stage. "Do I have to stamp someone to be able to love them?" 16 international artists with and without disabilities are dedicated to this question and impressively demonstrate how it is "L" the love describes a state that cannot be pigeonholed.

Projects like this are important to him, inclusion is important to him. "We are all the same. No matter if deaf or blind, no matter what skin color we have and what origin. " Dodzi Dougban lives inclusion. Without big words.

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Keywords Deaf | Hip-hop | Dancer | Singer | Dodzi Dougban | Dance | music