The University College of the Cayman Islands Dancers went on a cultural exposition in dance and made their international debut recently at the Little Theatre in Kingston, Jamaica. They performed alongside 160 other dancers at the annual production hosted by the Stella Maris Preparatory School in association with the Stella Maris Junior Dancers.
Under the guidance of their dance lecturer MoniKa Lawrence, UCCI students Renita Barnes, Kashekia Daley, Chane Watt, Jordana Jordan, Juzan Minzett, Mikhalia Byndloss, Rachael McKay, Vanessa Scott and Suzanna Anderson performed three out of the 32 dances that comprised the show’s line-up. They were warmly received by the 600 patrons in attendance.
Their adventure began upon their arrival in Kingston on Friday, 15 June, when the students attended a Master Dance Class at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. This class was hosted in association with members of The Stella Maris Dance Ensemble, one of Jamaica’s leading dance companies.
The class was led by tutor, Patsy Ricketts, Jamaica’s premier dancer with the National Dance Theatre Company, in the 1970s and has been ballet mistress/tutor/choreographer with SMDE since its formation in 1994.
“During the two-hour class, the students were taught various dance vocabularies and interacted with students who were more technically advanced. This proved challenging and rewarding at the same time,” said Ms Lawrence, a renowned performer/choreographer in Jamaica.
The students also experienced the hustle and bustle of the city, as they were given a tour of downtown Kingston by two chaperones, Yvonne Potts and Tamaria Reid.
“This experience was very rewarding as these students were given the opportunity to represent UCCI internationally. They have now formed new associations and have observed and familiarised themselves with the discipline that is required to achieve excellence,” she said.