The Caribbean School of Dancing will give its first ever virtual performance show, Still We Dance, on November 28. Principal Bridgette Wilson said the show is a celebration of the fact that the school has been able to remain open during the covid19 pandemic, and donations toward the show will help keep it afloat.
Wilson said the students had continued dancing online since August 2020, despite the many challenges this poses.
“We have truly missed seeing everyone face to face and the energy that exists in a studio setting. The online community of students and teachers has been a testament to not only to the importance of dance and the arts but to the value of the school in shaping the lives of students and providing them with a place to be surrounded by like-minded individuals in a safe environment.”
The show will feature performances from students as young as three to the senior and semi-professional students.
Wilson will present new work in the virtual performance, alongside CSD core teachers Nancy Herrera and Carol Yip Choy.
"All members of the online staff have worked tirelessly to produce new choreography in ballet, modern, tap and we most recently added to our class offerings hip-hop by guest teachers Adrian Daniel and Maria Davis as well as contemporary by student-teacher and Metamorphosis dancer Keanu Mohammed, among others.”
Wilson said cutbacks had to be made to keep the school going during lockdown.
“At least 100 students were affected locally in the earliest phase of covid19 as our annual internationally qualified exams in modern and tap dance were cancelled because of border closures across the globe and students being unable to dance at the studios.
"Our online classes resumed after Easter with about one third of the school's physical population, adjustments to the fee structure and payment options as a response to the difficulties we knew our community was about to face.”
She said the senior students had taken the biggest hit, going from a busy Christmas and Carnival into the ballet exams and then having all plans put on hold indefinitely, especially as the 25th-anniversary season of the school’s Metamorphosis Dance Company was cancelled.
“With the confirmation of remaining at home for the duration of the year, we saw a change in many of our students and needed something to boost morale and provide hope not only for those dancing at home but especially for those who have not been able to return to the activity and school they call home. Our community has not been left out of the stresses of this pandemic and we need to bring together not just our school community but the dance community, arts community and country to rally together for the future of dance and the arts in TT.”
Wilson said Still We Dance is a “celebration of the fact that we were able to continue dancing and that so many schools and companies of dance locally and abroad have found ways to connect and keep dancing; but also a reminder that so many have not and that many of them are right here at home.
"We are not without our own struggles and so donations toward this performance will help keep us afloat as we can continue to adjust to the stresses of this pandemic. Local and international credit card options are available at our campaign page. You can donate directly to the school or you can sponsor a student in need.”
Those wishing to donate can do so at https://fundmetnt.com/campaign/caribbean-school-of-dancing-still-we-dance.
To view the show, follow Caribbean School of Dancing on Facebook or Instagram to access the registration link for viewing via Zoom Webinar or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.