Imbali Dancers bring back gold medals from FrancePOSTED: 05/22/12 12:03 PM
SIMPSON BAY- A small group of teachers, parents and supporters of the Imbali Centre for Creative Movement rolled out the welcome wagon yesterday for eleven year olds Jeremiah David and Kiara Vanterpool who brought back two gold medals to the island. The duo competed in the prestigious French Federation of Dance Competition in Nice, France from May 16 to May 19. They were pitted against some 3,000 dancers in several divisions but emerged victorious in their categories.
The completion started daily at 8:00 am and ended after 11:00 pm because of the magnitude of competitors. It featured dancers who competed at regional levels and then all of the first prize winners are selected to go onto the national competition.
The supporters waited hours at the Princess Juliana International Airport for the dancers’ arrival. When they finally entered the arrival lounge, it was to loud cheers, applause and even musical instruments made of shells.
Director of the Imbali Centre for Creative Movement Clara Reyes said that she got the announcement of the duo’s success at 2:00 am (Paris time) last Thursday although they had competed since 9:00 am. “I felt absolute joy because I knew we were up against a tough competition and it made us happy to know that we are on par with international standards. It shows that our teachers are also doing a very good job with the students.”
Jeremiah David competed in the solo jazz category and won gold. The modern contemporary dance category saw Jones teaming up with Kiara Vanterpool. The duo impressed the judges; with all fifteen judges granting them perfect scores for their performance. Once again, a gold medal was awarded to St.Maarten. Instructor Peggy Oulerichi, who also served as the children’s chaperone was also praised for her choreography in the modern contemporary dance category.
“All year long we prepare students for these competitions. We competed in April at the regional level, won and then continued preparing for the national event. We focused a lot on technical development and drilled them because appearing before an international panel is not easy,” Reyes said. 10 year old Aureile Goffin of Temps Danses in Hope Estate, St. Martin also received a bronze medal for her performance in the classical ballet category.
“It takes a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears to create an award winning dancer,” Reyes noted.