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Dance twins taking ‘performance ensemble’ to VG

- includes males for the first time
A dance group of Nouveau Royale performs 'Four Seasons with a Twist (Fall/Autumn)' at Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) in Paraquita Bay, Tortola on July 6, 2019. Photo: VINO
From left: Junior Minister for Tourism Honourable Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL) and co-founder of dance ensemble, Nouveau Royale, Lakisha T. Claxton during an interview on JTV on September 16, 2019. Photo: Team of Reporters
From left: Junior Minister for Tourism Honourable Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL) and co-founder of dance ensemble, Nouveau Royale, Lakisha T. Claxton during an interview on JTV on September 16, 2019. Photo: Team of Reporters
Registration for the dance programme by Nouveau Royale on Virgin Gorda starts on October 5, 2019. Photo: VINO/File
Registration for the dance programme by Nouveau Royale on Virgin Gorda starts on October 5, 2019. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- “We are not necessarily a dance school we are a performance ensemble but we look at the girls’ academics, we try to mentor them, we do different socials and keep them out of trouble,” said Lakisha T. Claxton of Nouveau Royale.

Claxton was in the company of Junior Minister for Tourism Honourable Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL) when she broke the news of taking the ensemble to Virgin Gorda for the first time after being in operation on Tortola since 2015.

The move fits into the framework on which the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) campaigned on during the last election period, which promised to bring more engaging social activities across the territory for young people, especially in the performing arts.

“It’s an outlet for our young people and so when I was approached, I got a letter from Nouveau Royale, I said to the At Large Representatives as well as the Representative for the 9th District that I think this is something that we need to pursue,” said Hon Flax-Charles during an interview on JTV on September 16, 2019.

“We campaigned that we wanted to have activities within all the communities for young people and this opportunity came forth and we said let’s grab it because this can be the start of major things in the performing arts and with getting our young people in tune with their careers and so forth.”

Moulding well rounded young people

Stressing that social activities like music and dance help to make rounded individuals, Hon Flax-Charles said she is also delighted that the founders of Nouveau Royale, Natisha and Lakisha, are very young role models in the community.

She also said it was important that the Virgin Islands offer a variety of opportunities for persons to bring out their talent.

“We focus a lot on track and field and other athletics but one day we might have a gold medal-winning gymnast from the British Virgin Islands. We might have persons winning awards in choreography and so we have to have a well-balanced well-rounded group of persons coming out of the BVI who are able to compete on an international level.”

According to Hon Flax-Charles, she is currently working on a proposal that would see the emergence of a broad focus on the performing arts across the territory, “No district or island would be left out, from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke, to Virgin Gorda and Tortola.”

Registration for the programme by Nouveau Royale starts on October 5, 2019, and, according to Lakisha T. Claxton, the programme will be held at the St Mary’s Church Hall starting on October 12, 2019. Participating in the programmed attracts a small fee and is opened to both boys and girls.

While the Claxton twins are the primary teachers, Lakisha said already there are students assuming leadership and mentor roles.

“My girls are very disciplined. I have no issues with them in terms of behaviour. Everybody didn’t start off that way but because of the positive influence they have being around us… we don’t teach them and just send them home, we do sleepovers, we do a lot of different things together so the girls they keep up with it and we are seeing major growth in them personally in other things and not just dance.”

Meanwhile, for the first time, Nouveau Royale will include boys, “Virgin Gorda will be first, Tortola we don’t have a group for boys. Virgin Gorda would have that first experience, so that’s actually a project for us.”

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