Dancer Tippa dies in hospital

Dancer Tippa dies in hospital

Thursday, February 20, 2020

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Dancehall choreographer Fredrick “Tippa” Moncrieffe died of cancer in the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, on Tuesday. He was 52.

His colleague and friend for more than two decades, Latonya Style, confirmed his death.

“He was admitted on Saturday... I never expected him to die. He never mentioned he had cancer,” Style told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

“It's a big loss. He had so many big plans.”

Style said Tippa and herself were part of dance outfit Squad One.

“We performed at Sting and [Reggae] Sumfest back in the day. And what I recall of him was that he had lots of positivity, a mentor and motivator,” she said.

Tippa was a regular fixture on entertainment series Intense, which airs on TVJ on Saturdays, which would see him sharing the latest dance moves with viewers.

He was also a tutor at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts as well as an insider associated with Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's World Reggae Dance Competition.

Orville Hall, principal of Dance Xpressions, said Tippa's passing was a “painful” one.

“I knew him from the 90s. And because mi in and out of the island, mi never used to see him often, but we woulda link up at World Reggae Dance Competition. His death is a painful loss and it hit hard like a ton of bricks,” he told Observer.

Hall said Tippa brought his unique style to dancehall arena.

“Him did have a style weh people did a talk 'bout. It was more like storytelling... an animated dancing style. It was different from Bogle dem slow style, and a whole heap a youth did start copy it,” said Hall.

'Bogle' refers to flamboyant dancer Gerald Levy who created moves including, World Dance, Wacky Dip, Urkle Dance, Bogle Dance, and Willie Bounce (after his friend Willie Haggart).

Bogle was shot and killed on January 20, 2005. He was 40.

Hall said Tippa will be remembered as a person who was passionate about dance.

“We just have to continue keeping his legacy alive,” Hall added.

— Brian Bonitto

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