Deaf Dance Competition Set for May 24


The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will be staging its National Deaf Dance competition on Thursday, May 24 at the Little Theatre.
The competition’s main aim is to create a level playing field for the hearing impaired and to encourage a greater level of confidence and self expression in persons with disabilities.
Dance Specialist at the JCDC, Maria Smith told JIS News that, “the competition serves as national exposure for the deaf community, as it provides entertainment and builds the participants’ self-esteem,” while promoting discipline and team work. She noted that the competition also presented an opportunity for the Deaf to demonstrate to Jamaica and the world that they could achieve once given equal opportunity for participation.
Explaining how the dance works, Miss Smith pointed out that, “it is something that is called visual rhythm or visual counting..so they (the students) look at the person who does the dance, whether the teacher or instructor and they pick up the rhythm from that person and with practice develop their own inner rhythm and timing.”
She pointed out that this year’s 10 entries were from the schools for the deaf islandwide, which would vie for various cash prizes, including ‘Winning School’, ‘Best Choreography’, and ‘Best Performance’. Several schools participated in the competition’s inaugural staging in 2006, including the Lester Mair School for the Deaf, Danny Williams School and the Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf.
Through the competition, the JCDC hopes to help in breaking the stereotype of persons with disabilities and further fulfill its mission of unearthing, developing and showcasing the best of all Jamaicans and the culture.

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