The moment that changed her life: Bajan dancer Nandi Yard caught by a photographer after she was invited on stage by Machel to dance at his Stumped event in Trinidad. Impressed with her skills, he offered her a contract to dance with his team. (GP)
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It was just a few weeks ago that Barbadian dancer Nandi Yard stunned thousands when she appeared on stage with Soca sensation Machel Montano.
Based on the 50-second video which went viral, it was clear that he did not know what he was in store for when he made the call to the audience for someone to join him onstage and dance to his song.
Moments after she spun and simultaneously split to his 2018 release Doh Play, Montano asked the rising star where she was from, and when the winded dancer said “Barbados”, his shock showed both in his face and words.
But the 20-year old left such an unforgettable memory that she was invited to perform with him again.
Yesterday Yard, who is also a third year biochemistry student at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, spoke exclusively to WEEKEND BUZZ while she was at the Grantley Adams International Airport, heading back to Trinidad and Tobago to team up with Machel and his Monk team.
“I first visited Trinidad for vacation with a friend. However, we took in as many dance classes and parties as we could. But the trip was going to be cut short so we could attend Damien “Dappa” Taylor’s funeral.
“But upon trying to change our return flight we received word that there was a mix up in the funeral arrangements and we could return on the original date and that allowed us to attend the event, Stumped,” Nandi recalled.
For many of those who attended the fete, which was held at the Queen’s Park Oval, Yard’s skills have hit them for six.
She spoke to the WEEKEND BUZZ moments before take-off to share the moment of a lifetime experience.
“At Stumped I saw a fellow dancer Shaakir “Turbo” Griffith, who I met earlier on the trip, and he was performing with Machel Montano. So when Machel called for a dancer on stage, Turbo immediately pointed me out from the crowd and invited me to the stage.
“While performing, I felt the usual euphoria and excitement I get from each performance except this time I was on stage with Machel Montano, freestyling to a song I’d never heard before,” she recalled.
After her appearance she said she received a call from Machel’s team, but despite this being a dream of hers she wondered how she would pull off the balancing act.
“A couple days later I received calls from Turbo, who is a regular dancer for Machel and his management team asking me to return basically the next day, to perform with them for the Carnival season.
“My first thought was how will I handle this and school at the same time. But this is also a moment I’ve dreamed of for a long time. And thankfully The Monk Team made this predicament very easy by flying me back to Barbados for school where possible,” she said.
Locally, Yard is no stranger to the stage, as she has been dancing for 16 years and she has even made a name for herself in other spheres such as football, cheerleading, gymnastics and local dance groups Dancin’ Africa, Dance Machine and now Riddim Tribe. (TG)