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National Dance Showcase hailed as ‘a huge success’

National Dance Showcase hailed as ‘a huge success’

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Head of the Dance Unit at the Ministry of Culture Maxine Mavorne Browne has described the 2015 National Dance Showcase as “a huge success” and an event that shows that dance is on the rise in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The 2015 National Dance Showcase was held last Saturday, October 10, at the Peace {{more}}Memorial Hall in Richmond Hill. It was organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture and the National Cultural Foundation, in an effort to showcase dance in a non-competitive way.

The event, which featured dancers from primary and secondary school groups, as well as community and church groups, attracted a sold-out audience to the Peace Memorial Hall.

Commenting after the show, which saw 22 dance performances, Browne said that the organizers, “were surprised by the crowd.”

She said that, in her opinion, dance is on the rise, while noting “self-praise is no recommendation, but I came from a teaching background and I think it is my duty to go back to the schools and develop dance there.”

Browne added that she is the head of the dance unit at the Ministry and she encourages her dance officer Claydonna Peters to go to the schools, “and do all she can do to assist,” while they also pay close attention to other dance groups that ask for assistance.

The dance showcase saw groups performing various dances to gospel, hip-hop, dancehall, R&B and local music. The dances were choreographed by Browne, Peters and other persons, including students and group leaders.

Browne said that it is their mandate at the Ministry not only to assist the school groups, but all the dance groups here. She added also that they encourage dancers to dabble in choreography.

“At the Ministry of Sports Tourism and Culture, we have a new attitude about ourselves, in that we want others to create, so we encourage students to create within each group…we encourage young dancers to choreograph, so that when we are gone, dance can continue,” said Browne.

She said that the National Dance Showcase is put on biennially, but every year, a major dance event is held. Last year, the National Dance Festival saw the Arabesque Dance Company winning in the junior and senior categories, while the Lowmans Leeward Anglican School won in the school category. Browne said that the National Dance Festival returns in 2016.

Saturday’s event saw about 60 dancers taking part and according to Browne, “in my opinion, from the crowd response, it was really good and I’m impressed. The groups are improving and I am pleased about the job we are doing.”

The event was open to any group.

Browne, who is a firm believer in dance and the positive impact it can have on people, noted that there are several benefits that can be derived from dance, hence the reason why it should be embraced at the school level.

“Besides having fun, dance also makes learning fun and allows students to pay attention. Teachers sometimes cry out and say children don’t pay attention, but if they are bored, they wouldn’t pay attention, but if you incorporate arts and dance into learning, it will be fun and they will pay attention,” opined Browne.

Several groups took part in Saturday’s event. They include Break Storm, Ground Breakers, Renaissance Dancers, La Gracia Dance Company, Lowmans Leeward Anglican School, Kingstown Anglican School, the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School, the Questelles Government School, the St Joseph Convent Kingstown (SJCK) and the Girls’ High School (GHS).(LC)

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