National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) awardees off to international dance competition
Stephen Lashley, Culture Minister just made a presentation in support of two NIFCA multi award winning urban street dance groups who are heading off to compete at the world’s largest dance content provider or showcase, World of Dance (WOD).
Minister Lashley commented on the impact of the National Cultural Foundation’s (NCF‘s) developmental programmmes and the recognition of these artistes at NIFCA, a proven breeding ground for talent. He noted that the NCF’s programmes are not only designed to improve their technical skills on stage, but also to promote the longevity of the art form(s) ensuring that the artistes are also equip to transfer the knowledge gained.
One member of ADL and three members of the Multifarious Dance Crew are currently enrolled in the NCF Teachers’ Training programme which is preparing them to become the island’s first internationally qualified street dance Teachers with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). There were also the first to take the Bronze Street Dance medal test exam, where each of them received the highest honours.
It is the responsibility of the Ministry and by extension the NCF and other designated agencies to assist in youth empowerment and in the expansion of every aspect of this cultural landscape, Minister Lashley added.
This offer of support will open doors and create a fantastic opportunity for these local dancers to be seen by some of the pinnacle performers in the dance community, excite the world with their talent, measure their skills as compared to their international counterparts and gain recognition on a global stage.
Trinidad and Tobago is a new WOD franchisee. This is their first year in competition and with a qualifier so close to home it now facilitates access for local dancers to gain exposure and to contend on an international level.
The Trinidad World of Dance experience for these two groups will not only include the competition phase, but a chance to network with former finalists and to learn from these past competitors as they offer constructive critiques in the judging and workshop process.
WOD, the fastest growing dance and music entertainment brand, describes itself as an unstoppable global community in motion which began in 2008 as a single event and in their words is now a continent-spanning, tour de force of human spirit, featuring pure awe-inspiring dance moves at competitions in more than 25 countries.
The Multifarious Dance Crew has qualified as finalists in the Upper Category and All Styles Battle category at the 2018 WOD Trinbago competition, while the ADL Adrenalin Dancers are finalists in the Teams and Solo categories. They are both aiming for the top prize at this level which qualifies them for the Los Angeles (LA) component of the competition and if they are lucky to be successful in LA, they will advance to the final on NBC’s World of Dance TV show where the life-altering prize at stake is US $1 million. The 10-episode series recorded a viewership of 8.3 million last season and is led by a judging team of extraordinary dance superstars – Jennifer Lopez (who also serves as an executive producer), Derek Hough, NE-YO and host/mentor Jenna Dewan Tatum.
Speaking directly to the dancers with positive affirmations, Minister Lashley expressed his hope that the assistance being provided would echo the passion in them to seal the deal by clinching that million dollar top prize.
The WOD mission statement quotes the events as going beyond trophies, titles, or fame. Their goal is creative expression: changing the world through artistry and motion, embracing boldness, celebrating diversity, and connecting distinct, powerful sound and dance into one community – A Millennial-led World of Dance.