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Dancing thrill

Leigh-Ann Worrell

Dancing thrill

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IT WAS THE wife of the late Errol Walton Barrow who noticed Aisha Comissiong “had the legs of a dancer”.

Her dad, well known pan-Africanist, social activist and lawyer David Comissiong, took the hint and enrolled his then young daughter into dance class.

Fast-forward several years, and Aisha has earned a place as one of the island’s better known dancers, with big dreams for the advancement of herself and dance in the Caribbean.

The 24-year-old was spotted all through the recent Crop Over season, providing mesmerising waistline shots and spirited movements for some of the biggest names in soca.

Outside of the season, she teaches dance part-time at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in their Bachelor of Fine Arts programme, as well as at Dancin’ Africa. She also received the Prime Ministers Scholarship in 2011 for her pieces entered in the National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts.

Aisha also started Riddim Tribe dance troupe earlier this year and is ready to achieve even more.

“My biggest goal is to travel the world and perform. I don’t know what capacity that would be in but that is what I really want to do,” she told EASY.

“I am working on other stuff so I can be well rounded, so that if they ask me to sing I can drop a line, if they want me to play something I can do that. Obviously dance is my foundation . . . . I really want to travel and perform on huge stages. That has to happen.”

Her earliest memories are of dancing, first with the Barbados Dance Theatre and later with Dance Strides, under the direction of Sharon Trotman.

“These were the more formative years because I really discovered a love for dance and under [Trotman]. It was then I decided it was worth pursuing a career in dance over everything that I was doing . . . .”

The former Harrisonian was also a long distance athlete and did well with the books, but took her desire to dance all the way to the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts, another formative and eye-opening experience. 

 “I fast-tracked the degree and finished in three years. I ended up staying in Jamaica for an extra year dancing and performing, because there is something about their culture which is so rich and grassroots. They also appreciate their culture, and I find that is something that we don’t have here.”

She was also a member of L’CADCO – A United Caribbean Dance Force during her tenure in Jamaica. 

“The reason I joined L’CADCO was because it was not your typical company. They take Caribbean folk forms and mix it with European and African forms to create their own technique, L’Antech,” she explained.

“I wouldn’t think I had been dancing because I just couldn’t get it, but after a while it started to come to me. L’CADCO is so grounded and rooted even with their themes, and that speaks to me . . . and encouraged me, so I am thinking of creating a technique that stems from our Landship and brings other elements of the Caribbean so that we too have something to be proud of.”