The Guyana Ballroom Dancers Association (GBDA) hosted its third show and dance off last Saturday night at the King Solomon Hotel (Main Street Plaza). Dancers from Guyana and overseas gave beautiful ballroom and Latin dance performances to the 300-odd persons who attended.
The show was sold out to the point that there were only standing places.
The dances put on included Waltz, Quick Step, Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Tango, Oldies, Jive and Freestyle.
One of the first couples to awe the crowd was Lawrence and Nancy. Nancy’s swiftness and poise did not give away that she was the ripe age of 70 as she moved her slender self across the floor arm in arm with Lawrence.
Perhaps, the most breathtaking performance came from a Trinidad and Tobago couple who had the crowd swooning over their moves during a Rumba, returning later that evening to do the same in the Tango.
During intermission, oldies belted from the speakers and couples took to the dance floor, one being a heavily pregnant woman and her father, who was admired and
encouraged by the audience.
The show-stopper of the night however was Mr and Mrs T—she being 70 years old and he 15 years younger at 55—who gave the crowd a show, dance after dance. Though not a part of any dance group, this couple had the crowd erupting in cheers and jumping out of their seats to slap the nearby walls as they took each dance with such vigour and expertise.
Another couple of the night to have awed the audience with exquisite dances and who also finished the evening of dance was President of the GBDA Richard Bynoe and wife Sorona.
Speaking to The Scene later that evening, Richard shared that the GBDA was founded 19 years ago; it was the brainchild of Lawrence Drakes. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that the association became a constituted body with Richard being elected president that same year. The association has eight schools under its umbrella including Richard’s school: Exquisite Dance World. A few others are Uprising (from BV), Terpsichorean Ballroom Dance School, Buxton/Haslington Dance School and Step Right (from Linden). They offer training in dances such as: the Waltz, Quick Step, Fox Trot, Cha Cha, Jive, Rumba, Tango, Samba, Salsa, Merengue and Oldies.
“Our mandate is to standardize ballroom dancing throughout the country and to ensure all schools keep abreast with new development and techniques in ballroom dancing,” Richard said.
During a short interval, Minister of Social Cohesion, Youth/Sports and Culture George Norton and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams who were in attendance expressed joy at such a positive social activity being put on and mentioned how elated they were to see the youths involved. Norton took the opportunity to say that he wanted to see ballroom dancing reaching to the far ends of Guyana into the hinterland areas, adding that he would take some of the responsibility of seeing that this is fulfilled. Williams on the other hand said he would take it to the Minster of Finance to see money being put towards such activities.
It is hoped that the event will become an annual one and that through the collaboration of the Ministries of Education, Social Cohesion and other ministries training in ballroom dance can be offered in different areas of Guyana.
Probably the most promising performances of the night were from the children of Linden, who with passion and grace, glided across the floor taking the crowd in with every move as they danced to some of the late Pop King Michael Jackson’s hits, two being “Earth Song” and “Beat It”. It was after one of their performances that two of the girls were persuaded into escorting the ministers onto the dance floor. Norton, who seemed to have a knack for dance gave a small performance in under 30 seconds, while Williams who had not an inkling of dance, or so he said, managed to shake a leg. At the end, the crowd erupted in cheers for both politicians.
The dancers to have graced the dance floor were: Free Souls Dance Theatre, JR and Dacia, Lawrence and Nancy, Richard and Sorona, Gail Ann, Darius, Odasah, Esan and Makeda, Ronald, Wendy, Uprising/Buxton Dance School, Selema, Leroy, Kenrick and Laquanika, Leslie and Patricia, Taryn, Nerissa, Marwin, Alia, Crawford and of course Mr and Mrs T.
The Guyana Ballroom Dancers Association can be contacted at 225-7867