History

Dance Ensemble was formed in late 1980’s by a small group of friends. The original name of Dance Ensemble was given by one founding member, Mr. Earl James. Another founding member, Mr. Learie Paul, recalls that in the 1980’s church soirees were very popular, unfortunately he and his friend, Nigel Brown, could not dance. They wanted to learn to dance and felt that it would be a good idea to have a class for the members of the Anglican Youth Group.

During the summer holidays of that year, the Division of Community Development, Tobago House of Assembly, held a ballroom dance programme with Mr. Noel T. Sosa as tutor. This programme was so successful that most of the participants wanted to continue. Meetings were held with interested persons at the Anglican Church Hall and a group name, venue, and tutor were decided and an interim executive was elected.

Interim Executive and Venue
Who/What Role
Ms. Avril Parisienne President
Mr. Learie Paul Vice President
Mr. Noel Sosa Tutor
Anglican Church Hall at Scarborough Venue

Due to the constraints of space and the constant movement of chairs and tables before and after sessions, the church hall was abandoned in favor of the Scarborough Secondary School as the venue. The proposal for use of the school hall for dance sessions was favourably received and the then Principal of the school, Mr. Lincoln Warner and his wife were invited to join the class and they accepted.

The members of the founding class
Women Men
Amryl Parisienne Nigel Brown
Avril Parisienne Learie Paul
Arlene Parisienne Donaldson Winchester
Gillia Lewis David Charles
Linda Dick Earl James
Michelle Ottley William John
Allison Armstrong Kenny Wilson
Michelle Duncan Kenny Thomas

 

Past Presidents
Name Dates
Ms. Avril Parisienne  
Mr. Learie Paul  
Mr. Louis Charles 1996-2017

In 1997 Dance Ensemble met Mr. Ken Wilson – current President of NABDATT. He contacted our President to make amends after the group attended a poorly organized competition at the Holiday Inn (now known as Crown Plaza). A relationship subsequently developed between Dance Ensemble and Mr. Wilson- who went on to introduce us to the IDTA medal test program.

The next year 12 members of Dance Ensemble took the Bronze 1 test under the auspices of the NABDATT – since there were no qualified instructors in the country yet. Mr. Wilson subsequently became one of the first qualified instructors and he agreed to allow members of Dance Ensemble to continue to take future exams under the auspices of his school – until we obtained our own qualified instructors.

In 2006, four members of Dance Ensemble gained professional qualification (Associate in Ballroom) under the IDTA. these persons were:
Mr. Louis Charles
Ms. Ann Marie Bishop
Mr. Keith Johnson
Ms. Lois Roberts

Ms. Lois Roberts performed so well in this exam that she was chosen by the IDTA to receive the John Dilworth Award – out of a field of 730 candidates worldwide.

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