On Thursday, St Martin DePorres Basic School in Gordon Town, St Andrew, hosted it’s first dance lesson of the year, marking the first anniversary of the implementation of Blacka Di Danca’s Little Dancas programme.
For the session, the world-travelling Redbull athlete led the class himself, alongside Zidan of the Xclusive Dancers. Blacka also brought along a famous friend, dancehall star Mr Vegas.
“When I heard about it, I realised it’s a good idea because I always envision something like this with just the youth dem, something more active,” Mr Vegas told THE WEEKEND STAR. “These days, it’s less activity than when we were growing up. We used to play marble and all kind of different things, so we were more athletic and healthy. So, it’s good that [Blacka] have the youth dem a dance.”
To lead the opening session, Blacka brought out Zidan along with some European dance students. However, the youngsters kicked off the exciting, energetic hour. Donning their ‘Little Dancas’ shirts, the group immediately started jumping, bouncing and flinging their shoulders.
“It’s not this school alone. There are other schools. We have Mission House and Little Angels Basic Schools. We offer it as a community cluster programme,” principal of the school, Cislyn McLeish, told THE WEEKEND STAR.
“I wanted to have a dance group here, but the funding the parents were unable to pay- and to pay the teacher. So Blacka offered, and I took up the challenge, and it’s been going so well,” she said.
Approximately 35 students regularly participate in the
after-school dance programme, which takes place in a nearby community centre on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 1 and 2 p.m.
The principal hopes the programme will extend to primary schools, as two basic-school graduates have returned to participate in the weekly sessions.
“They were in it last year, so they went on and wanted to continued,” she said.
Blacka added: “It’s been going absolutely amazing. Now we’re trying to raise money to buy shirts because with more kids comes more shirts, and with more kids come more teachers. This is just a model to extend to more schools, more ages, more cities, and more countries.
And Mr Vegas agrees.
“It’s a good thing to adapt. We’ll look into still because it takes a team to put the whole thing together, because we can’t just start it and stop it. Even if I can’t personally do it, I can kick off the ball,” Mr Vegas said.