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Born to dance
Seven-year-old Kaylah Burnley was born to be a dancer. She is currently the youngest ballet dancer en pointe in T&T; she started pointe when she was six in 2017. Kaylah and a mini group of five dancers from The Candice Clarke Academy Of Dance (CCAD) in Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas, placed first in ballet classical original choreographed by Candice Clarke at the World All Dance International Competition in Orlando, Florida, USA, on November 26, 2017.
They also placed first in lyrical choreographed by Clarke, first in show performing Creola Folk which is a new type of dance genre, a fusion of ballet with a Caribbean flare choreographed created by Candice Clarke, first in tap dance choreographed by Clarke’s 16-year-old daughter, Chelsea Andell and first place in hip hop by guest choreographer Priscillia Gueverra.
The Arima Presbyterian Primary School Standard One pupil, whose birthday was on February 9, said last week, “I love dancing. It allows me to express myself and I feel happy when I’m dancing.”
Speaking to Kaylah’s mother, Sandie, from Cunupia, she said her daughter strikes a balance between her schoolwork and dancing.
Burnley said, “Kaylah’s doing well in school. She received 91 per cent in her last term exam right after returning from Orlando.
“The dancing also helps with her memory as well, I don’t have that problem with her. She has matured and has two older brothers, Joshua, nine and Josiah, 13 and Kaylah’s dancing is comparable to an 11 year old’s.”
She said since Kaylah was in her belly, she was listening to music playing on the radio and she would be pumping to the rhythm.
Burnley said when she was doing hardcore training in a gym in Chaguanas, Kaylah was around four years and she brought her along to the gym.
She said her sister told her about Clarke’s dance school and enrolled her daughter shortly after.
Burnley said at one “baby”class session Clarke noticed Kaylah’s natural ability and told her she was ready for the next level which surprised her.
From there, Kaylah progressed very quickly as Clarke saw the potential in her from early.
Kaylah had many stage performances from CCAD at its Christmas production A Star is Born. She performed her second solo performance when she was only five years old, the dance titled The Music Box at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts and a repeat performance at The Little Carib Theatre.
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