Latin love with Rash Royalty
When you hear of sensual artistry in motion, Latin dance immediately comes to mind. Embodying sultry moves and putting on passionate performances onstage, on the dance floor, and in the studio is Rashida Bignall.
More popularly known as ‘Rash Royalty’, Bignall has been dancing since she was five, but she discovered her true love, Latin dance, at the age of 14. She told The Sunday Gleaner, “I started my Latin dance journey taking classes with Keith Cousins of Salsa Jamaica at the age of 16. He was a huge influence for me, and I am very grateful to have been exposed to this art form through his teachings. Another group worth mentioning is Salsa Society Jamaica, whom I am also grateful to have learned from.”
According to the multitalented dancer, she chose to pursue Latin dance because it’s different, and she is a big fan of this difference: “Jamaica has not been exposed to Latin dance enough. I pursue it to not only share my passion but to bring awareness to this exciting dance form.”
In 2014, she took things a step further by making a career out of the art form. Specialising in Latin dance, Bignall teaches the dance styles of salsa, bachata, cha-cha, and merengue. “Teaching, for me, is a huge joy because I get the honour of sharing my knowledge of dance with those who wish to experience it. I love people, and I love to help people.” She recently branched out into sensual dancing, which caters to those women who wish to reconnect with their ‘inner sexy’.
Additionally, she choreographs the important wedding first dance for newly-weds. A firm believer that weddings are special, Latin dancing, she says, allows the newly-weds to share an experience that is both fun and memorable with friends and loved ones. She facilitates the expression of love by creating a spicy Latin number that is manageable for both bride and groom.
Latin dance is nothing without a dance partner, and Bignall has been fortunate enough to have two: Wayne Thomas and Rojae Crossby. Dancing and working with them consistently for five years, she is very grateful to have them on her team.
So, what’s next? She is in the process of working with another dancer, Faybian Grizzle, on a piece that will fuse her Latin experience with his modern contemporary technique. “I have always admired ballet/modern dancers. It’s been a dream of mine to learn from them for a long time, and so I am beyond excited to get the opportunity to do so now,” she said.