Adina Love is a teacher in our Community Engagement Program from a group that has participated in the parade for many years. Dancehall Aerobics is a combination between Jamaican Dancehall, which classifies as a popular street dance in Jamaica, and the blood pumping power of fitness. She has been dancing since she was ten years old and has been teaching a dancehall choreography called Str8 Fram Yaad Dance (straight from yard) since 2009 and added aerobics to the formula in 2011. She is one of the first instructors to join the Community Engagement Program when it began in 2012.
Greetings Adina! Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us, what should one expect at a Jamiacan Dancehall Workshop?
Our workshops consist of a brief summary of what Jamaican Dancehall Dance is and how you can stay fit while dancing dancehall style. There is also a dancehall fitness session where students workout while incorporating authentic Jamaican dance moves. They learn the names of the dance moves while working out to different rhythms of dancehall and soca. Lastly, we have a choreography session where students learn choreography for a particular song and then perform what was learned at the final class.
How did your involvement as an instructor for Dance Parade’s Community Engagement Program come about?
My Involvement as a instructor with the Dance Parade Community Engagement Program came about when they first started the program, Shireen ask me if I would be interest and I jumped at the opportunity because we like working with the youths and teaching them new things and it was also a great opportunity to bring awareness that staying fit can be fun.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you face between yourself and your students when leading a class?
The biggest obstacle is trying to keep the students interested and having fun. We stay up to date with the dancehall music we think they would know and like and we stay current with our dance moves.
How have you learned to get the most out of the kids participating in your workshop?
I try to get the best out of them by being a good teacher and friend. I don’t make the class like a bootcamp or to difficult for them to manage. I keep it fun by having contest or dance offs and I help them if I see there struggling.
Describe a special moment that took place during one of your classes that made you proud of your job and sure you were doing the right thing.
There was a moment when two little girls they had to be 8 or 9 years old, they never heard of dancehall and never took dancehall classes but when the music came on you would of thought they been dancing for years. they were so focus on getting the choreography right for the family stage show. They were so tight with there movements that I forget I was teaching a whole class and almost gave all my attention to them. I had to put them in the front of the show so all the other students could follow them. They were good leaders to there fellow students that made me proud to see all the students perform so well.
How important do you think young kids being exposed to different cultures and styles of dance is to them and why?
It’s very important for kids to experience different cultures and styles of dance because it makes them have they opportunity to choose what they like, it open there minds to be creative, social, have more ideas, to think outside the box and it shows how people of different cultures express themselves through dance.
And here’s a final fun one for you…What is it like to work with Shireen Dickson, our Community Engagement Director?
I enjoy working with Shireen, she’s professional, she gets to the point, easy to work with and she’s not annoying.