Six Trinbagonian acts have qualified to participate in the next phase of screening for the NBC hit series, World of Dance, which is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, California in July. This, after a successful and entertaining event held last weekend at NAPA in Port of Spain that saw impressive presentations from over 30 acts representing Trinidad, Tobago, Guyana and Barbados.
Commencing with an energetic and unpredictable series of knockout 1 on 1 dance battles, the World of Dance qualifying event electrified the NAPA Auditorium with exciting flips, twirls, dramatic sketches, dance moves and tons of screams and applause from the sizeable and enthusiastic audience. Hosted by former dancer turned radio personality, Jade Cambell and judged by Jillia Cato, Hamid Rahaman and Jana “Ja Ja” Vankova, the heated battle saw Antonio “Rico Boss” St Vincent emerging as the overall winner after defeating Shaakir “Turbo” Griffith in the final round.
Guyanese duo, Enigma (Priyah Seepaul and Renuka Ramcharan) then triumphed over five other competitors (Ms Vee, Bishop Anstey East Modern Contemporary dancers, SJC Wolves, Anthony Gooding and Rachel “RayRay” Mahabir) and took home top honors in the Junior category.
The Upper category attracted over twenty competitors and showcased an outstanding variety of styles and routines, but in the end, noted gymnast, Thema Williams stole the show with her impeccable form, poise, confidence and a masterful routine, which earned her the highest marks and the championship trophy.
Led and choreographed by veteran dancer/trainer, Hamid Rahaman, The Academy then won the team category, although two other groups, namely the Khalnayak Dance Company and the Swastika Dance Group still qualified for the next phase of the competition.
“To say that our competitors performed well above expectations would be an understatement,” noted Lequay Edge Director, Hans Romany. “We certainly couldn’t have predicted six acts qualifying for the next round! As the franchise holders, we are responsible for getting these qualifiers to LA for the next event in July, but we are happy to announce that several corporate sponsors have come on board more recently, so we are definitely getting some assistance in terms of the airfare and accommodations, but still, we are aware that this is a monumental opportunity to showcase Trinidad and Tobago on a major US television network so we are open to proposals and additional support from corporate Trinidad and/or any Government agencies that truly believe in the talent and the potential of our young dancers as we do…”
Romany and co-Director, Kyle Lequay also revealed that the international celebrity guest judges were thoroughly impressed with the calibre of performances and the Canadian duo of “Luka and Jenalyn” have even promised to work with teams online free of charge to prepare them for the next event.
“Already we are seeing the first set of intangible rewards of hosting this event, as the local dance community now has a great opportunity to be excited about and good reason to rally around our contenders,” said Lequay. “We have several more dance coaches coming on board to help prepare teams for the next phase as well and several sponsors have come forward to assist with the costs of sending so many competitors. But it’s not just here: the Word of Dance executives are truly excited to have so much talent and diversity represented from this region and we have several Skype meetings scheduled to get their complete assessments and discuss possibilities for the future…”
Stay tuned to the World of Dance and the WOD Trinbago page on Facebook for updates.
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