Afro Caribbean Dance Training of Trainers – 3 -10 January 2016


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Course Overview

This twelve (12) sessions course is designed to enhance the skills and knowledge of instructors of the Afro-Caribbean Dance form.  It will provide an investigation of historical influences, examine structural elements, examine the physiological context of dance and provide a safe space for experimentation of the various Afro-Caribbean forms.

Students will also be exposed to basic elements of dance which influence composition and choreography. They will be expected to document their learning process, critique dance productions and conduct research on the development of Afro-Caribbean dance in the region.  By the end of the programme, students will be expected to produce and perform in choreographies which were developed through the coursework.

Workshop Date: 3-10 January 2016

Venues: Marcus Garvey Resource & Development Centre /Parkinson School

What to Expect

An intense participatory training course that will provide participants with an in-depth understand of dance styles and rhythms of African and Caribbean cultures presented in 4 modules.  Some of the traditional and contemporary Caribbean dance forms will be theoretically explored in relation to the historical and cultural significance, as well as practical aspects of dance alignment, coordination, conditioning, musicality, composition, the refinement of choreographic design skills, preparation and performance.

This course provides participants with the unique opportunity to experience, understand, and appreciate the importance of authenticity, cultural diversity and retention through the art form of dance.

Who Should Attend

Existing or emerging choreographers, practitioners, teachers who are:

  • Committed to developing and/or refine their skills in the practical presentation and performance of afro-Caribbean dance work to audiences.
  • Willing to engage in theoretical and practical activities leading to the creation of original choreography for solo and group work.
  • Responsible for the development of performers and choreographers, through learning about and experiencing specialised works of dance professionals and companies.
  • Passionate about Afro Caribbean cultural retention.

Course Outline

The course is divided into four (4) units which cover a broad range of practical and theoretical topics of relevance for the Afro-Caribbean dance instructor.

Unit 1 – Introduction to Afro-Caribbean Dance

Unit 1 is broken down into 2 parts as follows:

Analysis & Reflection

  • Creating learning logs
  • The art of reflection and being a reflective teacher
  • Creating lesson plans
  • Reviewing a dance performance

Looking at Dance

  • Dance terminology
  • Health and safety for dancers
  • Body preparation and First Aid
  • Historical perspective of Afro-Caribbean dance
  • The influence of ritual on Afro-Caribbean dance

Unit 2 – Choreographic Design Skills

This unit will cover the following content areas:

  • Elements of dance choreography
  • Techniques for generating movement
  • Techniques for manipulating movement
  • Techniques for structuring choreography
  • Creating and documenting spatial patterns

Unit 3 – Composition

This unit will cover the following content areas:

  • Generating movement vocabulary
  • Organising movement through editing and arranging
  • Structural devices and techniques
  • Aesthetics of dance
  • Adult and children’s dance

Unit 4 – Preparation and Performance

This unit will cover the following content areas:

  • Posture and alignment
  • The Laban technique and its relevance to dance
  • Understanding stage directions
  • Execution of dance choreography

By the end of the training, participants should be able to:

  1. Appraise personal dance skills
  2. Appraise dance work of others
  3. Work autonomously and constructively with others
  4. Apply anatomical principles of movement and safe dance practice
  5. Demonstrate kinaesthetic awareness and movement skills
  6. Apply performance skills and appropriate dance technique
  7. Create a personal movement vocabulary to express an intent
  8. Apply structure and form to the design of own dance works to suit intent.
  9. Create lessons plans for given training period/session
  10. Conduct the necessary research to inform choreography


Michael Lucien is the Dance Director of the Malick Folk Performers of Trinidad & Tobago; Tutor with the Artistic Collective, Hartford, Connecticut, USA Choreographer for the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition; Arawak’s Dance Group; Andre Ettienne’s Dance Group; St Stephen’s College; Carifesta V and many more.  Mr Lucien has toured and taught throughout the Caribbean, South and North America, Europe, China, Japan and China.

Michelle Cox has been in theatre and dance for over 25 years.  Michelle trained in Theatre Arts at the Barbados Community College and then at the University of the West Indies (St. Augustine campus). She completed her Master of Arts (MA) at the University of London where she studied Applied Drama: Theatre in Educational, Community and Social Contexts.  Michelle was the Cultural Officer – Theatre Arts at the National Cultural Foundation of Barbados and currently the Coordinator for the Associate Degree programme in Theatre Arts at the Barbados Community College.

Kim Clarke-Grant is one of the founding members of the Pinelands Creative Workshop and Chief Choreographer for the Unit for Cultural Development and a Registered Nurse by profession. In 1992, Kim furthered her studies in the area of dance at the St Augustine University in Trinidad and Tobago.  She took full advantage of every opportunity to advance her skills through workshops and seminars, one of which was conducted by Ms Sheila Barnett in the Art of Choreography. These technical skills and years of experience provided an avenue for her to become at Judge during NIFCA 1988, 1999, 2014 and 2015 and to be bestowed with the title of “Most Promising Choreographer” for the one her pieces at NIFCA in 1994.  This title was followed by yet another success that same year, where another of her pieces was awarded the “Madam Ifill Award”.