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Dancing feet lead to Senegal

Published: 
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Dancer and choreographer Kieron Sargeant has been travelling around the world representing T&T, most recently in Nigeria and Mexico. He’s now seeking funding to go to the Ecole des Sables Centre in Senegal, where he has been chosen to represent T&T in studying the Black Dances: About Technique Acogny.

Sargeant, who has been the Theatre Arts teacher (Dance) at Pleasantville Secondary School for the past nine years, possesses a Certificate in Dance and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from UWI St Augustine. He also holds a Masters of Science Degree in Management and Educational Leadership, a Post Graduate Diploma in Adult Literacy and Design, as well as a Diploma in Health and Family Life Education and Instruction. He is trained in dance styles like Caribbean Folk Dance, West African Dance and Modern Dance Techniques.

Sargeant has taken T&T folk dance to Mexico where he was invited to be an Artist in Residence for Danza Extrema XIII Festival Internacional supported by Secretaria de Cultura of the Federal Government through the Instituo Nacional de Bellas Artes of Mexico to conduct Masters Classes in T&T folk dances and also to research their folk dance Danza de Los Malinches which is similar to the Maypole dance in T&T.

Said Sargeant: “The response to our folk dances in Mexico was astounding.

They loved every minute of it because they are very much rooted in this style of dance so dancing it from a Trinidad and Tobago perspective was really enjoyable for them to learn and appreciate at the same time.”

Sargeant has facilitated dance workshops in Abuja and Nigeria, where he showcased T&T’s folk dance culture and heritage for Nigeria’s International Dance Day Celebrations.

Sargeant said: “It was also a great opportunity for me to see the culture of Nigeria and to also learn some of their African dances which is closely linked to African influenced dances we have in Trinidad and Tobago like Ibo and dances of the Orishas, particularly Ogun and Shango.

But my main activity in Nigeria was to produce a choreographic work for which I was awarded a choreographic fellowship award with 15 talented men, who were a combination of dancers, drummers and percussionists organised by the Festival of African and Caribbean and Culture (FESTACC) with partnership with Ijovudu Dance International led by Sani-Abu Mohammed Allen for their international dance day function.”

Sargeant is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Choreography at the Florida State University, where he has been awarded the Dean’s Scholarship, the Dance Alumni Scholarship and the Congress of Graduate Students External Funding Award. He has created a choreographic work called The Crossing for the school’s Dance Concert and in the 2018/2019 semester, he will be teaching a Caribbean Folk Dance Course, which is the first in the University’s history. It was within the first three weeks at FSU that Sargeant was approached by worldrenowned choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, who was interested in his folk dance techniques. She subsequently introduced Sargeant to worldrenowned choreographer Souleymane Badolo who encouraged him to apply for the course, where his application was chosen from hundreds of others as the sole T&T representative.

People interested in donating towards Sargeant’s journey to Senegal can donate to his account at RBC Account number 100098171582404, or visit To Study Black Dance: Acogny Technique Senegal on Facebook

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