Dance Strides Barbados students show off creativity
Miracle Williams was the top soloist at the Dance Strides Barbados 2017 Inter-Class Choreography Competition.
The Modern Jazz Libra class and soloist Miracle Williams took top honours in Dance Strides Barbados' Inter-Class Competition for 2017.
Held at the St Ursula's School auditorium on Saturday, the students aged 12 to 16+ presented their self-choreographed pieces in the inter-class and solo competition.
Adding to the programme were showcase pieces from some of the kids' and adult classes, including Boys' Technique, Ballet, Modern and Afro-Caribbean.
The theme of the night was 'Dance - A Positive Message' and that is exactly what the dancers portrayed on stage as they explored issues such as women's empowerment, mental illness, overcoming personal obstacles and embracing independence and individuality.
Miracle Williams performed an emotional solo about a teen dealing with her parents' divorce, showing off her technique, clean lines, and expressiveness. Her performance earned her top spot in the solo competition, which had a record eight entries this year.
Second place went to Shakayla Estwick, who also impressed with her gracefulness and technique, in her dance about learning to be self-reliant.
Zharia Springer placed third with her solo 'Nouveau' about embracing new things, dreaming big and being inspired - all the while feeling good about the new possibilities life offers.
The champion Modern Jazz Libra class of over-16 teens were all about celebrating womanhood in their piece entitled “Mwanamke”. It portrayed a journey through the life of women, the evolution of their rights, a depiction of their struggles and a celebration of how they became women of strength.
Second place went to Modern Jazz Capricorn, who depicted a young girl's battle with schizophrenia.
Dance Strides Barbados Teen Challenge
The Teen Challenge, started in 2003, is now in its eighth year.
It is designed to develop character, build confidence, teach the dancers to work with others, and provide insight into the production and administrative aspects of performing. As part of the competition, students were required to compile a journal with a synopsis, technical and creative concept, and sometimes, a description of the experience of creating the piece.
According to Dance Strides' Artistic Director and Principal, Sheron Trotman, "It is an extension of what the role of dance is - to develop life skills."
Commending the dedication shown by the young dancers, who were balancing the competition with school and exams, Trotman said, "The children did what I asked of them - to give of their very best."
"It was truly exciting and wonderful for me to work with them and help them to reach their true potential, step up and work as leaders."
She thanked parents for their support, adding, "I am grateful to you for giving me your little ones for me to help you mould them into the young people that they are and the adults that they will become."
Dance Strides Barbados was established in 1994 and is located in Wildey, St. Michael.