Students compete in dance competition today

POSTED: 03/26/13 11:28 AM
Some of the students who are participating in the French Federation of Dance competition, which will be held in St. Barths today. Photo Today/Leo Brown

St. Maarten – Fourteen students of Motiance Dance School and Imbali Dance School are competing in the prestigious French Federation of Dance competition in St. Barths this afternoon.

Where it is the first time for students of Motiance Dance School, some of the students of Imbali are more than familiar with the competition. “I am not that nervous as I was before,” 11-year-old Jeremiah, the winner of last year’s competition said. Jeremiah who is performing in two choreographies, ballet and African dance, said that the nerves will still be there when he enters the stage. “This is the fourth time for me that I am participating in the competition, but I am always nervous what the judges will think of me.”

Even the 8-year-old Trinity, whose third time it is participating in St. Barths’ competition, is looking forward to perform. “I am doing three dances, contemporary, modern and jazz, and I am excited to do it again,” she said. 9-year-old Keywanie said “I know what to expect since it is my second time, but I am still very nervous.”

The students, in the age category of 8 to 12 years, will all perform individually. The winners of each of the choreographies will go to France to represent the schools in the final competition.

The other students are just as excited and nervous since it’s their first time. “I’m excited, we have been practicing three times a week, in the beginning it was hard but it is getting much better now,” 11-year-old Lisa said. 11-year-old Zoë and 10-year-old Vicky said to be nervous but at the same time excited as well.

For the 12-year-old Chanel it is a different story. She had the opportunity to participate in last year’s competition but had the bad luck of getting sick. “I am so excited for the competition. I am doing everything to keep myself healthy, I do not want to get sick again,” she said.

The 12-year-old Faith, who is doing an African solo, says to be excited to go to St. Barths. Also she finds it scary to be in front of the judges. Devony, who is also 12, says since it’s her first time the butterflies will not go away in her stomach every time she thinks about the competition.

“This year again we will represent St. Maarten well, with both schools competing with 7 students each,” Director of Motiance Dance School, Arlene Halley said.  “This contribution is supporting the children of St. Maarten in a positive activity and creating young ambassadors in arts to represent the best of our nation abroad,” she added.

Halley says that she is excited for the students as well and that it is a wonderful opportunity to develop their skills at the level they’re at. “This competition, representing hundreds of students from different academies throughout the Caribbean, is a technical high level competition,” Halley continued. “If we manage to get through this first round, we will go to the finals in France, where we will compete with other students from all over the world.”

With the question if she thinks her students and the Imbali students will have a good shot in going to the finals Halley said “Yes, I do. I think we will do good, and we will have a chance of being placed high in the rankings, considering the amount of talent that we are bringing into the competition.”

“Look at Jeremiah, he brought home the winning trophy last year and the year before that, while Diofanny Diaz had bronze in 2011 and Kiara Vanterpool took gold as well last year. There is a lot of talent here on St. Maarten and we are going to show that to the judges today, so we can hopefully prepare us for France once more,” Halley said.





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