SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE?
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.