Dance to be implemented in schools in St. Kitts as a part of cultural education
(SKNIS): Marcia Jeffers, Dance Specialist in the Department of Culture, described dance as an essential part of culture in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
While appearing on the Government’s Weekly Programme, “Working for You”, on January 31, Miss Jeffers referred to dance as “life” and said that it encourages a holistic lifestyle. She said that dance not only promotes movement but a healthy lifestyle, education, cultural experiences, fun and emotional stability.
“Dance embraces everything. Simply put, dance is life,” she stated.
Miss Jeffers said that the Ministry of Culture has been working with the Ministry of Education to implement dance as a formal part of the education system. She said that this will allow more students who have a passion for dance to learn the economic value of pursuing a career in dance as well as have an in-depth knowledge of different types of dance and dance cultures.
“We need as a department, as a ministry, as a country and federation to educate our children that this [dance] is a viable career,” said Miss Jeffers, while stating that dance is not only limited to performing on stage. She explained that there are a vast number of opportunities through dance that children can take advantage of if given the right education and training.
She also noted that education about pursuing dance as a career is not only for the students but also for parents who do not think that dance can be an economically viable career path for their children.
Miss Jeffers said that the department will also be looking at forming policy in the area of dance, specifically for folklore, which is unique to our history. She said that the policy will include training, documentation of cultural products, multicultural dance education and the construction of a performing arts centre.
There are different folklore dances that are shared among the Caribbean islands like the masquerade and others, however, the “Bull” is unique to St. Kitts and Nevis.