Sat | May 8, 2021

Quarantine dance contest offers US$5,000 prize money

Published:Saturday | May 1, 2021 | 12:13 AM

Locked away because of the coronavirus pandemic, many Jamaicans have been forced to dance in their homes and yards as the dance halls and clubs have all been closed. But people can now unleash that ‘inner dancer’ in a contest and win real prize money.

The Quarantine Dance Xplosion 2021 Online Competition is being organised by the US-based entertainment firm, Up A Hill Management.

They are seeking 14 dance groups in Jamaica to compete in an online dance competition. The contest is open to dance groups comprising three to six persons and all age groups residing in and outside of Jamaica. Entries are accepted in the categories of roots reggae, dancehall, reggae contemporary/classic, reggae dancehall, dance narrative, traditional folk forms, hip hop, jazz, modern contemporary, ballet, and even ballroom dancing.

“Everyone likes to dance. Caribbean people are a cultural community, we can appreciate the different dance styles available over the world. So this contest is open to everyone who fits the criteria, all age groups,” Janet Sinclair, chief executive officer of Up A Hill Management, said.

The registration process began April 2, 2021, and closes at midnight on May 20. Applicants may download the registration form from the company’s website and follow the instructions.

A panel of three professional judges — graduates of the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts — will vet the videos and choose 14 dance groups from the applicants. Contestants who are selected will be informed via email.

“The dance competition is the thing that gave life to dancehall in communities all over the globe. It has come in many different forms, and each one has made its own stamp in history, and that’s what this contest is about. The blood, sweat, and tears that goes into the choreography of a dance competition, we will document it all on our YouTube channel. This why we love it, why we do it, the struggles we face, and what it’s really about,” Sinclair said.

Each week, two groups who have submitted their videos via email will be uploaded to the Up A Hill Management YouTube channel. Fans will vote for the videos, and the group with the most votes will advance to the next round. The contest officially begins May 22 and ends August 21.