Thursday, April 18, 2024

Reactive Squad on a high


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IT WAS A TRIPLE feat no other dance group in Barbados had been able to pull off.
The seven-member Reactive Squad is still flying high after copping first place in the annual Community Dance Fest, held on Errol Barrow Day.
Just over a month before, the squad took first place in the community talent section of the Spirit Of The Nation show, and was also the winner of the Cheer Dance competition held in May.
Leader Demar Robinson credits the 2013 high with the right blend of talent who provide ideas for choreography, special moves, themes and, of course, the right musical mix.
“Sometimes there are ideas and we are not really sure [if they will work], but if we take the risk, most of the time we are successful,” he said.
Ranging in age from 16 to 23, the Reactive Squad invaded the Nation’s Fontabelle office on Wednesday with laughs, inside jokes and nicknames for each member of the squad.
All but one had been a member of several other dance crews, such as Xtra Hype, Demolition Squad, Base Control and Xclusive Dancers. Mostly hailing from Bush Hall, St Michael, the passa passa dance crew admitted girls were the reason for getting into dancing in secondary school, “since girls like dancers”.
Welcome To The World of Dance Fest was the winning entry for Community Dance Fest. Originally, it was to be Welcome To Our World of Dance, before the youngest member, Tontre Gittens-Harris, made an input.
The highlights of previous winners like Blu Tooth Breakers, Adrenalin and Xtra Hype were used to build the routine, before showing off moves of their own – including a disappearing act.
With just a few days to the show, Reactive Squad faced a major setback: the music mix was not formatted correctly and had to be redone.
“We ain’t rest! All the other groups were practising and good to go, but we had to do the mix from scratch and go home and practise … We hand in the mix the same day of the competition,” Demar told the SATURDAY SUN.
Confidence levels were low due to the last-minute delay, boosted only after seeing the response of the crowd at the Garfield Sobers Gynmasium.
“If the crowd wasn’t reacting, you would have seen a different Reactive…,” Demar continued to a burst of laughter. “The crowd gives us a boost. We got up there and had an adrenalin rush.”
Reactive Squad know there are bigger and better stages to conquer, but are hampered by late payments of competition prizes, lack of sponsorship and the need for a manager.
“I don’t know if people realise there are a lot of talented people in Barbados, and there are dancers here that are harder than some of the dancers in Jamaica. We should get further,” Rico Philip asserted.
 “We would love to make a full-time thing because this is what we love. If it were possible, I would dance every day, and go overseas and go into competitions overseas . . . like Dance JA and Dancin’ Dynamite,” Mario continued.

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