MONDAY MAN – Serving others through dance
He has been involved in various community service groups from the age of 13.
Now 50 years old, Cavil Best still contributes to the development of his community – this time through dance.
“I came up and found my mother and grandmother involved in community service and I just automatically got involved in helping in the community.
“It was a family thing. I was also a part of the Boy Scouts at All Saints Primary School.
“As a teenager, I would have been involved in moulding, shaping and teaching other young people. I got involved in a community group called Primcada. That came out of the Princess Margaret Secondary School. I was about age 19,” he said.
“Later on I joined an Africanity organisation headed by Sir Roy Trotman and others. I worked with them for a period of time and got involved with the Barbados Dance Theatre in 1986 and travelled in 1988 with the Barbados Tourism Authority to the United States.
“But I started my own dance company, Danse Nationale Afrique, in 1987 with Anthony Elson, Timothy Prescod and Michael Okoro.”
Best said one main reason for starting the dance group was to get people to continue to look out for each other.
“We decided to form this group with a black perspective to look at how we could develop people in general, help them to understand who they are and find themselves and also how we could make a change in people’s lifestyle in this world through the performing arts.
“We started out at St Leonard’s Secondary School in 1988. We went into primary and secondary schools across the nation. I also assisted some students at the Barbados Community College. I worked with Westbury Primary school for the first children’s traditional dance showcase in 1989 that was held in Martinique.”
Best said one main challenge he faced throughout the years was getting people to “understand the depth” of dancing.
“Leadership is important. I find that people don’t want to be led. They don’t like to be governed. We find that a lot of people don’t even know where they are gong. It is a difficult task trying to bring people together and trying to get them to understand that we all have goals in life and a part of our purpose is to be successful and achieve those goals,” argued Best.
The Rose Hill, St Peter resident said the best part of helping and teaching people to dance was the fact that in the end, they did learn.
“The best part is taking people into a different environment. It feels good to see that they have achieved the goal they set out to achieve,” he said.
Over the years Best has been involved in the promotion of the island overseas.
“The group has travelled extensively around the Caribbean. We have been working closely with the Barbados Tourism Authority promoting our tourism product throughout the United States and Canada.
“In 1991 we went to five states in the US which was organised by Barbadian organisations in the US, including the consulate. In 2008 we were in Spain in an expo. We had a lot of challenges getting there but, in the end, it paid off; Barbados was well received,” Best recalled.
He said the challenge had gotten bigger over the years.
“Today is different than back in the 80s and 90s. Today it is harder to bring people together. We have to work doubly hard to get people to realise what we have and what we can accomplish. We look at the talent in Barbados, take Rihanna for example, she had no idea she would be where she is today. Each of us have the opportunity [to] make it; all we have to do is find our own space and develop,” said the Bethany Baptist Church member.