Shall We Dance? Latin Ballroom thrills as 3 international judges visit Barbados

For those of you who either thrilled to Richard Gere, Antonio Banderas or the Australian flick “Strictly Ballroom” or even adored old Fred & Ginger – then you missed a great show at the Wildey Gymnasium over the weekend…

It was the 11th anniversary of the Jahbulani Ballroom Club, and there were quite a few Categories – Juveniles Novice; Juniors Novice; Juveniles Beginners; Junior Beginners; Youth Beginners; Adult Beginners; Advance Open; Salsa; Adult Intermediate; Pro-Am (Professional/Amateurs) and the Annette Byer Memorial Solo.

There were three judges from overseas to provide their technique to assessing the prowess of all of the contestants. Sarwat Kaluby, Rosendo Fumero and Dan Messenger.

The solo is really the piece de resistance of the event; it is a tribute to Annette Byer whose deeds led to the founding of the club back in 1996. There was also a surprise demo from the Universal Kempo Karate Club. The show was great – so let me get out of the way the few bugs I observed…

  • The programme should have a directory with contact e-mail and/or cell of each club participating – let the audience shop around!
  • Same for the Karate demo, there should be a contact listed if people were impressed – they were, even one of the International Ballroom Judges!
  • Staying on the martial arts demo, it should have been played while judges were tallying the final scores, instead of hearing a droning list of sponsors, was not compelled to look for them afterwards!
  • The overseas arbiters should have been mixed in seating with the local judges, it lets them acclimate better to island rythms!
  • Final bugbear, the judges’ table was too cluttered with sponsor products – do like the Grammies or Oscars, give them a gift basket afterwards and have a replica of it up front for patrons to see as they get their tickets torn…

It was adorable to see the juveniles and juniors, but sad to realise that few parents get their boys to do Ballroom, there were two pairs of girls competing at one pint; boys are at a premium – just so you know? Samurai warriors may be taught to fight, but they learn dance, poetry and painting so as to be well-rounded sword-machines; there is a soft play for the hard edge to bounce off against!

The Karate Club almost stole the show with a comedy routine – two guys tell a salesman they get their clothes from JC Penney and then a guy in a towel arrives and it turns out he is JC Penney, he fights the two bullies for his clothes in slow motion set to the love theme from Top Gun, when he runs out of steam – the salesman returns to rejuvenate JC with Red Bull (it gives you wings? LMAO) and he wins!

Man, one of the overseas Judges was wiping tears from his eyes he was laughing so hard! It was a clever use of comedy to demonstrate the effectiveness of self-defense and when to use it!

The Advance Open and Annette Byer solos were won by Daana Linton (Roamin’ The Caribbean fame) and Mark Burgess, this is not their first time; but a full interview is forthcoming! Here’s a full list of those winners that night!

Juveniles Novice

1st Christof Trotman & Sharika Wilkinson

Juniors Novice

1st Andre Alleyne & Kali Thompson

Juveniles Beginners

1st Ross Harris & Danielle Hall

2nd Josiah Haynes & Jaicee Armstrong

3rd Najee Moore & Alyssa Gibson

4th Marissa Jemmott & Larien Lynch

Juniors Beginners

1st Jamal Dawe & Janine Sealy

2nd Broderic Goodfellow & Leslie Layne

3rd Romario Bates & Shanice Gittens

4th Christon Lucas & Marissa Banfield

5th Carl Broomes & Alissa Blackman

6th Damien Best & Anique Herbert

Youth Beginners

1st Naam Thomas & Janee Lovell

2nd Andre Forde & Sophia Billingy

3rd Rico Ward & Shanell Latchman

4th Marvin Alleyne & Sarah Newton

5th Dwight Howell & Jessica Jones

6th Kemar Bennett & Roberta Alleyne

7th Ryan Leach & Karla Dear

Adult Beginners

1st Rico Broomes & Maria Broomes

2nd Jamal Johnson & Tayika Browne

3rd Dabian Cumberbatch & Tamara Jeann Mayers

4th Justin Sealy & Mia Thorne

5th Davey Chandler & Shelly-ann Alleyne

6th Jason Chambers & Nikita Gibbs

7th Aaron Chandler & Shayl Griffith

8th Alvin Sobers & Nicola Clarke

Advance Open

1st Mark Burgess & Daana Linton

2nd Glenford Defreitas & Cheryl Brewster

3rd Glen Burnett & Dawn Archer


1st Shane Greaves & Alicia Payne

2nd Nicholas Small-Warner & Nikita Gibbs

3rd Roger Dec Arthur & Kathy-ann Patrick

4th Adrian Kellman & Cheryl Forde

Adult Intermediate

1st Nicholas Small-Warner & Kim Wiggins

2nd Julian Knight & Jessica Knight

3rd Russell Mullin & Lasonta Payne

4th Anthony Mapp & Andrea Browne

Pro-Ams (Professional/Amateurs)

1st Mark Burgess & Eronica Burgess (Pro)

2nd Raymond Maughan (Pro) & Keri Lavine

3rd Leon Greaves (Pro) & Sharon Harvey

4th Wayne Brewster & Coralita Straughn (Pro)

5th Kennedy Phillips (Pro) & Wendy Sealy

Annette Byer Solo

1st Mark Burgess & Daana Linton

2nd Glen Burnett & Dawn Archer

3rd Glenford Defreitas & Cheryl Forde

3 Responses

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  1. It would be nice to know what the international judges were looking at. I won’t want to dispute their choice of winner but certainly it would appear that technique did not carry the sway. It appeared to me to have more to do with figures “attempted” and the complexity level. Would be glad to hear other comments

  2. I hope someone reads this and that it helps improve Strictly Latin show in Barbados.The standard of show needs to be improved a lot. Why are there so many one couple categories? Why are some competitors (females are the chief offenders) allowed to dance in inappropriate costumes? Why was the MC speaking so softly to such a large auditorium and not keeping the show flowing when there are delays? The competitors need to be taught about ballroom etiquette, where when accepting trophies, the males graciously assist the ladies onto the elevated podium in those high heels, and escort them off in like manner. Show a little class.

  3. Don’t even talk about the tribute to Patrick Swazie in SL Mar30,2012. Disorganised and not well rehearsed. Too many participants made it look crowded.


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