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ROCKING CHAIR STORIES – Dancing to her own beat

Tony Vanterpool

ROCKING CHAIR STORIES – Dancing to her own beat

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ROSALYN LOVELL always loved dancing, particularly ballroom dancing.
“When my children were young, there were few opportunities for dancing, and I chose to wait until they had matured.”
They are now both grown.  Aisha, who is 30 years, is a business analyst and will complete her Master’s degree at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus this June.  Andre, who is 23 years, studied medicine in Jamaica and will  finish his clinical studies here at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in June as well.
Rosalyn took a beginners’ class in 1994 at the Modern Ballroom Dance Club in Black Rock and went on to Progressive Ballroom Dance Club at Weymouth Sports Club.
“I was just an ordinary dance student – I felt I could dance freely!”
Rosalyn, however, became more enthusiastic and passionate about her dancing and became a competitive dancer.  As her enthusiasm grew, so did her interest in teaching ballroom dancing.
In 2002 Rosalyn undertook an Associate Degree in teaching of ballroom dancing in Miami. Then, in 2005 she completed the Licentiate Degree. In 2007 she took an Associate Degree for teachers in Latin dancing all with the Imperial Society of Teachers’ of Dancing.
She describes a time when ballroom dancing was not as popular as it is now. In fact, there were very few clubs. Today, many ballroom and dance clubs exist around Barbados – “The last time I counted it was about sixty groups.”
Rosalyn explained that in Barbados people participated within multiple dance groups, and for many it is a pastime. “There are some who enjoy dressing in their finest, attending ballroom functions and just socializing with others who also enjoy this form of social activity.  It is relaxing.”
When asked what is ballroom today, Rosalyn replies: “Ballroom has evolved. Teachers are very highly qualified. The ballroom is not like way back, where all that was required of you was to dance the specified steps in time to the music; now, there are specific steps done in specific ways along with great musicality and expression – it is an art”.
 When Rosalyn first started ballroom, she fell in love with it. “It grew on you to the point you couldn’t get it out of your mind. I would be at work at my desk, and my feet would be dancing under the desk!”
Rosalyn saw her passion extend into every aspect of her life – in everything she did she saw a dance move reflected in its energy. She says ballroom is a great activity for socializing, for developing poise, self-confidence and also for losing weight.
Today, Rosalyn is the dance director of Precision Dance Studio located at Ellerslie School, where classes are held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. She also serves as a dance instructor alongside her husband Hampden. But Rosalyn’s skills do not stop here. She also provides catering services for weddings and other functions.  She enjoys baking and icing specialized cakes, but her preference is hat-shaped and handbag-shaped cakes. She credits Mrs Joan Holder for this love. “Now that I have left school, I can now fully enjoy other activities in my life. I am not going to just sit down – that would be more tiring than work.”