The magic of dance has been appreciated by audiences for hundreds of years, whether around a fire on the beach, or on the stage in cities like New York, London and Paris.
Here in Cayman, dance is an integral part of national festivals such as Pirates Week and Carnival. Quadrille dancing is important to Cayman’s culture, usually performed in costumes reminiscent of days gone by.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Dreamchasers Cayman dance company will be performing at the Harquail Theatre in a show titled “Layers of Self.” Inspired by Jawara Alleyne and the musical “Annie,” it will feature dancers of all ages – from 3 years old to adults. Such is the age range of students in the company, with founder Melisha McField at the helm.
McField has been entranced by dance since she was a young girl. Born and raised in the Cayman Islands, she started her journey when she was 9 years old. In 2006, she attended the Edna Manley School of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and choreography.
For the last 20 years, McField has been a member of the National Dance Company, Dance Unlimited, but last year she decided to strike out on her own. She officially created Dreamchasers Cayman in June 2017.
“I wanted to allow children to experience what I did,” says McField, “and learn about how far dance can take you.”
Her goal is not just about giving her students the opportunity to study dance locally; it is also to teach them the discipline and commitment necessary to succeed in the Performing Arts. “I want to show them that dance doesn’t just have to be a hobby – it can be a career, but they have to work for it.”
For some, they may discover that a professional dance career is not for them, while others will use Dreamchasers Cayman as a strong base for a future on the stage.
Although McField can teach many different types of dance, she leans towards styles centered around Afro-Caribbean folklore. “I am influenced by all genres, including our very own Caribbean folklore, which makes my dancers diverse in their ability to constantly shine,” says McField.
At present, classes are held at Kings Sports Centre, but McField is dreaming about having her own studio in the near future.
“My mantra is that one must always dream big, and dance bigger!”
Tickets for the ‘Layers of Self’ show are on sale at Cheekiest Kids Boutique at
98 Shedden Road or available at the door. Tickets are $15 for children (over 5 years old) and $25 for adults. Show on Saturday starts at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 938-4610 or visit the Facebook page at Dreamchasers345.