Gesture by Tobi Omoteso – Approaching entrepreneurship in the arts

GESTURE is a new space within Our Thriving Tribe Project (OTT) where arts professionals were commissioned to consider entrepreneurship from the perspective of the arts in Ireland and respond with a gesture.

Each Gesture was digitally documented: this documentation became part of Our Thriving Tribes research materials. Each unique Gesture remained with the arts professional. The commissioned documentation from GESTURE will be exhibited online, shared through the OTT & AHEH projects digital platforms and published in the Our Thriving Tribe publication.

Tobi Omoteso is an internationally acclaimed B-boy (breakdancer) and hip hop dancer.

Training at Broadway Dance Centre & The birth place of Hip-Hop – New York, Tobi has been dancing for over 15 years and is dedicated to supporting the foundations of this dynamic and influential dance form. As curator and director of hugely popular TOP 8 at Dublin Dance Festival, Tobi consistently delivers the best of Irish and International street dance to new audiences. Now heading into it’s 6th year, the event continues to grow in size and popularity, drawing huge numbers of both old/young dancers to the festival.

As a dance facilitator Tobi has designed and delivered youth programmes for Dance Ireland, Dublin Dance Festival, Waterford Youth Art, Lioas Dance Platform, Cork, Tipperary, Carlow and Dance limerick. Teaching in schools, youth groups and established dance organisations, he has brought his knowledge of Hip-Hop and breakdance into a wide variety of youth and academic contexts. In 2016 he was invited to share his experiences as part of Dance Ireland’s – Dance Talks. He has performed his own work at Imagine Arts Festival, Dublin Dance Festival, Limerick Fringe Festival, Whats Next Festival, Loias Dance Platform, Glor Performance Platform and at Dance2Connect among other festivals and events. On screen he has performed on Sky’s Got to Dance, hit US TV show Penny Dreadful and in numerous music videos and commercials. Tobi has worked with some of Ireland’s leading choreographers including David Bolger, as part of the core ensemble for the 1916 Easter Rising Commemorations in Croke Park (TG4 & Tyrone Production LAOCHRA), Catherine Young, Libby Swerd, Tobi joined Lucia Kickham in the studio at Dance Ireland as part of Lucia’s Hatch residency research for – INIT: The Warm Up Project.

Tobi Omoteso partcipated in the OTT zoom room sessions which can be viewed here.

Gestures by Tobi Omoteso

There are three main types of gestures, but I will be focusing on adaptors gestures to approach entrepreneurship in the arts.


Adaptors are touching behaviours and movements that indicate internal states typically related to arousal or anxiety. Adaptors can be targeted toward the self, objects, or others. In regular social situations, adaptors result from uneasiness, anxiety, or a general sense that we are not in control of our surroundings. Many of us subconsciously click pens, shake our legs, or engage in other adaptors during classes, meetings, or while waiting to do something with our excess energy.

To bring the above back to an entrepreneurship approach we can say whenever that anxiety or uncertainty feeling sets upon oneself this is where you can apply an artistic approach adaptor gesture which is in two steps. One will be timing yourself for 20 mins and diving into your chosen artistry or artform i.e Dancing, painting, composing, singing for no longer than 20 min. Then instantly write out 2 sentences in a journal or computer or whatever you chose, why you are practicing this art form, be specific. The reasons are as followed:

  • It will elevate your anxiety
  • Increased dopamine (Happy Hormone, which we need now more so than ever)
  • We are engaging both physical & mental aspect of our being. Synchronicity!
  • Activity horning your skills – 20 mins a day of anything becomes a habit and road to mastery of that action due to effective practice – (
  • By forming the adaptor habits subconsciously, buy the end of the day, week, month when you look back at this journal you now have text, words that can be used when filling an application for grants, promotion and publication. Your approach to your work from an entrepreneurship point of view will be clearer as you have words to explain why you do what you do and have words that means something and can be quickly and easily accessed. Once this becomes habitual it helps on every level from personal to an impersonal level.


I chose this Gesture because it fit me and who I am. I know my learning styles and rank high in the areas of kinaesthetic, Audio and Visual learning style. To form habits with movements is very natural as I have a lot of adaptors gestures as outlined above.

This is important when considering entrepreneurship within my practice because, when thinking of art from the entrepreneurship approach for me personal feels forced and un-natural as I am mostly intuitive when making and even undertaking a task, so to not have those uncomfortable feelings, I some what seek the help of this gesture or carry out said gesture. Doing this allows me to form new habits that is serving me in most if not all aspects of my artistic expression including entrepreneurship approach. I no longer must force or separate one from the other, they go hand in hand.