This past week, I had the honor of presenting my research at the Second Season of Dance Conference, hosted by the Univeristy of the West Indies/Cavehll, in the beautiful country of Barbados. The conference, which was held at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI), brought together some of the best and brightest scholars on Caribbean dance and dance ethnography together to share their work and to support the work of others.

This was my first time presenting my research at an academic level.  Although my goal has always been to go after my PHD, this conference put me in the audience of people that are doing the work that I want to do in some capacity.

The conference began on Thursday, May 19th. We began the conference with introductions from the conference chair, Ms. Neri Torres. Ms. Torres then introduced Professor Gladstone Yearwood, Director of the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination.  The highlight of the morning introductions was an opening speech by Dr. L’Antoinette Stines.

Dr. L’Antoinette Stines

Dr. L’Antoinette Stines

Dr. L’Antoinette “Osun Ide” Stines is an artistic director, dancer, choreographer, actress, teacher/lecturer, administrator, author, and visionary. Creator of L’Antech, a modern contemporary

Caribbean dance technique, Dr. Stines continues to impact on the direction and future of Caribbean dance. In 1994, Dr. Stines unveiled a new modern Caribbean Dance Technique called L’Anyah Reggae Technique later known as L’Antech. Culminating from over ten years of research, this innovative technique is a blend of classical ballet and several Caribbean folklore forms. Regarded as one of the three pure modern dance technique to develop out of the Caribbean, L’Antech, the language, gives

the audience choreography embodying a wholeness of Body, Mind, and Soul.
Dr. Stines opened up her speech with a quote from Pearl Primus:
The dance is strong magic!
The dance is a spirit!
It turns the body into Liquid Steel!
The dance is strong magic!
The dance is life!
She went on to discuss her work in Jamaica and the reason why she believed we were all at this conference.  “We cannot judge Caribbean Dance by Eurocentric standards!” This statement resonated with me on so many different levels.  On a daily basis, I struggle in a world and society that tells me that who I am and what I stand for does not matter.  The after effects of the Trans Atlantic Slave trade can be felt by its descendants in every aspect of living.  Dr. Stines words were an acknowledgement of these notions, but for me, it was like hearing Kendrick Lamar’s track “Alright” for the first time!  It inspired me to keep my head up and to keep grinding no matter what the world gives you to work with.
After Dr. Stines keynote speech, the first panel on dance education was up.  Guess who was the first presenter (no pressure! LOL!)? It was a great experience! My co-presenters, Dr. Kathryn Austin and Dr. Stephanie Millington gave great presentations!
The next panel was entitled “The World of Orishas” and it included a dynamic discussion that includedRoberto Montero (Cuban syncretism in the Performing Arts), Nerri Torres (Cuban fusion: Creating modern dance rituals) and Leandro Soto (To dance the Colors).
There were many panels and discussions happening simultaneously (I missed Kelvin Cooper’s class “Social dance practices adapted for stage performance: Bahamian dance”),  but the information presented was a great experience!
Overall, I truly recommend this biennial event to scholars looking to present their work on an international level!  The next conference will take place in 2018, so keep an eye out on the links above for more information.