Callender reaches dance target
ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-THREE PEOPLE believed in dancer Jamal Callender’s dream to raise about BDS$30 000 so that he and four other tutors can conduct a workshop here in Barbados during the Crop Over season.
When the counter ran out on his internet fundraising drive just before 6 p.m. yesterday, Callender had raised $31 134 for the Barbados Dance Project. With 70 minutes to go, he already had $30 954. It didn’t seem like he would make it on Tuesday when it was still $13 000 shy of the goal.
If he had not raised the funds by the deadline, he would have had to return what had been donated.
Callender has been holding dance workshops for the past six years and started holding the workshops with help from the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) in 2010, but faced a major challenge this year when the NCF was no longer able to provide sponsorship.
He said he was a bit anxious as the deadline approached.
“I am in Miami currently performing with Ballet Hispanico at the Arsht Centre. You can imagine the knots in my stomach, not only for my opening show in Miami, but also knowing the deadline of my project was the same day,” he said.
“I am overwhelmed with joy and excitement and pride. I am very humbled that so many people from all over the world – US, Barbados, Trinidad, Canada, UK, Holland and my other places – believed that this project in Barbados must happen.
“Many people thought that this Kickstarter and raising $15K US was ambitious and impossible. I didn’t. I honestly didn’t know who would donate, but I knew this was my heart; this project excites me every day. I cannot wait to get down there and get to work.”
The dancer, who is based in New York, puts on the free workshops for young children and adults. Callender will be in Barbados from the end of July, and this year’s workshop will offer classes in Ballet, modern, stretch, contemporary, Latin ballroom, Afro modern and improvisation.
“We will also teach elements of performance. I will also like to go out into the community and host dance classes for the general public. With Crop Over season at its prime, a pre-jump up work out dance class would be a lot of fun to excite and get people ready for the road,” Callender said.
Information on the classes will be posted on the Barbados Dance Project facebook page. (SAT/NS)