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National Dance Month is in progress and schools are preparing for the biggest event for dance this year, the Secondary Schools Dance Festival final. The final takes place at the Rudranauth Capildeo Learning Resource Centre, Couva on April 24 at 9 am. The festival showcases all dance styles practised in T&T and the Caribbean including classical, East Indian, ballet, traditional folk, contemporary, recreational and social dances such as hip hop, ballroom and Latinas well as fusion dances. It is being hosted by the National Dance Association of T&T (NDA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. The festival is held in March/April and the annual International Dance Day is celebrated on April 29.
The festival is also a forum for students who are writing the CSEC Theatre Arts (dance) for the annual CXC Examinations to create dances relevant to T&T’s culture and to perform those dances with confidence. This year, in keeping with the NDA’s mission to increase the standard of the portfolios submitted for evaluation, it is collaborating with the Forward Ever Foundation (FEF) created by Christopher Din Chong. In a media release the NDA said: “The Forward Ever Foundation has extended an olive branch to the association and, because the NDA has noted its many achievements, it was more than willing and excited to work with the foundation.” Earlier this month British Council representatives, together with the FEF and Chè Rodriguez, held workshops on script writing and story telling at Kapok Hotel, Maraval and at the Tobago House of Assembly for students. According to the release, Donald La Guerre, project and Web content manager with the British Council, responsible for the lead up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, said the council’s partnership with the FEF was because the the services the foundation offers “was directly in line with what we felt the local students needed.”
La Guerre said the council’s goal was to guide students to effectively tailor their stories for film and to give them a competitive edge over the other Commonwealth countries. Dancers, dance groups and institutions of dance also have events on for this month. For more information on National Dance Month and the Secondary Schools Dance Festival contact the NDA at 628-5629 or [email protected] and for the Forward Ever Foundation, visit the Web site at www.forwardeverfoundation.org.