SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE?

The Star (St. Lucia) - - ENTERTAINMENT - --- Keryn Nel­son

De­lano Manganoo is a DanceS­port Am­bas­sador from Trinidad and Tobago. Reg­u­larly he trav­els through­out the Caribbean to con­duct work­shops de­signed to pro­vide Caribbean dancers with life-chang­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Manganoo's last lo­cal work­shop was with the Kalani Dance In­sti­tute for its Latin Dance Train­ing camp in April of this year. Be­fore em­bark­ing on yet an­other trip to Saint Lu­cia come Septem­ber, the dance-sport en­thu­si­ast checked in with the

STAR to spill on his on­go­ing project which has al­ready taken him to Trinidad & Tobago, St Vin­cent & the Gre­nadines, Bar­ba­dos and Ja­maica.

STAR: Let's start with a brief run­down of what you do and why you do it. Manganoo:

Well, I work closely with the World DanceS­port Fed­er­a­tion. They are an over­see­ing body for dance-sport on a com­pet­i­tive level glob­ally. I am also with the In­ter­na­tional Dance Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Great Bri­tain. I nor­mally travel to dif­fer­ent is­lands and our ob­jec­tive is for growth and dance di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion through­out the Caribbean. A lot of the Euro­pean coun­tries al­ready have the re­sources, so the idea is to help Caribbean is­lands with great tal­ent but that lack tech­nique, re­sources and the right amount of in­for­ma­tion to grow and de­velop.

STAR: Is this also the pur­pose of Septem­ber's work­shop? Manganoo:

I've been com­ing to Saint Lu­cia for the last four years do­ing work­shops and projects but this year it's go­ing big­ger. I have an or­gan­i­sa­tion called the Live2­dance Foun­da­tion that caters to autis­tic and un­der­priv­iledged chil­dren here in Trinidad and we de­cided to ex­pand the project. In Septem­ber we're go­ing to be hav­ing a show here in Saint Lu­cia to raise aware­ness of the pro­gramme and to raise funds for the kids' work­shops.

STAR: What will the work­shops in­clude? Manganoo:

The work­shops will fea­ture dif­fer­ent gen­res: ball­room, Latin, con­tem­po­rary, bal­let and folk dance for adults. These work­shops are free but only if per­sons pur­chase $80 tick­ets to the show. So we're go­ing to be hav­ing the show on Satur­day, Septem­ber 15 and the work­shops will run from Septem­ber 10 to Septem­ber 14. Par­tic­i­pants will also get a cer­tifi­cate of com­ple­tion and it is a rec­og­nized cer­tifi­cate by the two bod­ies that I work closely with.

STAR: How will these work­shops ben­e­fit Saint Lu­cians? Manganoo:

Well, the thing is, Saint Lu­cia needs to broaden; we need to bring Saint Lu­cia up to an in­ter­na­tional level. We have the peo­ple that are in­ter­ested in dance but they are not see­ing how they can go fur­ther. They need the right in­for­ma­tion. The thing is, once they're ed­u­cated and rec­og­nize they can go far, there will be more in­ter­est and dis­ci­pline. I also train in­struc­tors. Right now, we have an in­struc­tor on­is­land teach­ing peo­ple dance at Har­mony Suites Ho­tel. His name is El­don Forde.

STAR: Can you high­light some of the avail­able op­por­tu­ni­ties? Manganoo:

Well, at the moment, ev­ery year I host a dance fes­ti­val called ICDF—the In­ter­na­tional Caribbean Dance Fes­ti­val—and I in­vite dancers from Europe, Amer­ica and Latin Caribbean to come over to Trinidad for four days. It in­volves com­pe­ti­tions for young peo­ple in dif­fer­ent ar­eas. We have a show seg­ment where chore­og­ra­phers are able to show their work and on the third day we have work­shops where all the in­struc­tors, in­clud­ing Caribbean in­struc­tors, can teach. We give in­struc­tors the op­por­tu­nity to get paid be­cause we have a lot of spon­sors. We also have schol­ar­ship pro­grammes to train within the in­sti­tu­tion in Trinidad. Our last schol­ar­ship pro­gramme, they went to Bei­jing to study dance. I also work closely with the World DanceS­port Fed­er­a­tion so, once cou­ples and dancers are up to par, they will be able to rep­re­sent their coun­try within the com­pe­ti­tion seg­ment in South Amer­ica. But again, peo­ple are only given those op­por­tu­ni­ties when they are able to ex­er­cise dis­ci­pline. The op­por­tu­ni­ties are there; you have to show you are work­ing to­wards it.

Dancers wish­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gramme are in­vited to in­di­cate their in­ter­est by con­tact­ing 'Dance SLU' on Face­book. For more in­for­ma­tion, tele­phone (758) 714 2219 or 518 4555.

The Dance SLU work­shop in Septem­ber promises to up­lift lo­cal dancers and con­nect them with su­pe­rior learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

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