Virtual regional dance competition deemed a success

Thyana Sebastian
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By Carlena Knight

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The recently held regional dance virtual competition has been deemed a success.

The virtual solo competition ‘Dancing Together, Distances Apart’ which was put on by the local Cultural Department saw 19 dancers from eight different Caribbean countries on display on Saturday night, showcasing various dance styles with the hopes of being crowned the first ever winner.

Director of Culture Khan Cordice told Observer that the event was a successful one.

“Well, personally, I thought it went well. The bare fact that we were able to pull it off with the help of our partners was a success on its own.

“We would have seen dancers from across the region performing in their element, given all of the issues that we would have had for the last 15 or so months with the lockdown and the closure of the entertainment industry, and I must say it was indeed a great event,” Cordice said.

This event is not the first virtual dance competition the Culture Department has hosted, as the division held a national component that formed part of the official 2020 Independence celebrations.

Cordice revealed that due to the success of this regional event and the national component as well that both competitions will become staples for the Department of Culture.

He explained the plan is also to broaden the scope to include the other arts as well.

“We actually do have some things in store. We are actually just waiting on the right time to execute them and this will be across the arts. We would love to see more support being given across Antigua and Barbuda to participate.

“We did have some good numbers in the national component but there was just some reluctance with some of the persons that are from the community for whatever reason. So, we are just trying to find ways to appeal to them.

“This is something we need to do for the continued growth of the artform. You will see some more of these come on board and I must say you will see these things move way beyond the Covid period,” he added.

Johari Taitt of Barbados was named the overall winner after amassing a score of 629 points, while Martinique’s Eismar Brice (597) and Delzy Jn-Baptiste of St Lucia (587) finished second and third respectfully.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Thyana Sebastian (513) finished in the top 10 in eighth place.

“It’s always a pleasure representing my country. There were 19 competitors from eight countries and being in this competition was a very big deal for me,” Sebastian said.

“I’m very proud of myself for even reaching top 10 because it was a hard competition to watch. I do not envy the judges one bit. Thanks to those who took the time out to assist me despite our limited resources. We still pulled it off. Thank you to everyone who believed I could do this and also for my country giving me the support.”

Sebastian and Christine Powell represented Antigua and Barbuda in the inaugural competition.

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