DCW Youth Performing Arts Company

New to our programming in 2017 is the DCC partnership with WIADCA to design a Youth Performing Arts Program educating Caribbean youth about our culture and heritage.  The program is led by DCC Lead Artist, Shola Roberts, a Lincoln Center Scholar 2017 and Dance Educator at School of Integrated Learning, Valerie Mcleod-Katz, Coordinator/Artistic Director of Fine and Performing Arts at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School and Candace Thompson, Founding Director of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE and ContempoCaribe.

DCW Performing Arts Company Team

Shola K. Roberts is a professional dancer, fitness instructor and model based in Brooklyn, New York. Shola, a proud Grenadian American, has had the opportunity to work with many renowned dance companies and choreographers. Her credits include performances with Kowteff West African Dance Company, David Dorfman, Francine Elizabeth Ott, Candace Thompson and Otis D. Herring, for whom she served as an assistant choreographer.

She has also worked with the Purelements, an Evolution in Dance as a professional company member, teaching technique styles like Dunham, African and Jazz, just to name a few. Trinidadian recording artist Preedy has featured Shola’s choreography. She even composed the award winning dance presentation the for Ramajay Mas band in the 2014 and 2015 West Indian American Day Parade in Brooklyn. In 2014, Shola was an awardee of Caribbean Life’s 40 under 40 Caribbean Americans who have made an impact in their community. She was featured in Caribbean Life’s News Paper. In 2015, Shola was named a Lincoln Center Scholar, where she and 9 other individuals received a full scholarship to attend the Hunter College Arnhold Graduate Dance Program. She is currently in her 1st year pursuing a Masters in Education. This is Shola’s 2nd year choreographing for the DCC New Traditions Showcase and she is extremely passionate about the arts and is grateful for the opportunity to share her passion of dance to inspire, to touch and change lives.

Valerie McLeod-Katz, Dancer, Choreographer, Director and Producer is the Artistic Director and Coordinator of the Visual and Performing Arts Programs at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School.

She began her formal training at Wingate High School and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and studied under a number of distinguished teachers such as Anne Marie Forsythe, Denise Jefferson, Lavinia Williams, Milton Myers, Nat Horne, Pepsi Bethel, Joan Peters, Pearl Primus, and Jess Oliver. She holds a B.F.A. in Dance from City College, a M.Sc. in Urban and Multicultural Education from The College of Mt. Saint Vincent and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration and Supervision from The College of St. Rose.

She currently serves as the Artistic Director and Production Manager for the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) and serves as the Organizational Mentor for Dance Caribbean Collective, a community based arts organization. A certified fitness instructor she also teaches at CRUNCH and the YMCA health clubs in New York.

Candace Thompson, a Trinidad and Tobago native, is a dancer, choreographer and certified fitness professional specializing in personal training and corrective exercise. She is the beauty and brains behind CanDanceFit, Artistic Director of ContempoCaribe and Founding Executive Director of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE. Her dance training is extensive, beginning in Trinidad and Tobago, where she received instruction in modern dance and ballet, at La Danse Caraibe under Heather Henderson-Gordon. She is a graduate of Adelphi University’s BFA in Dance with the Ruth St. Denis Award for excellence from the dance department, and has gone on to work in various dance styles including Afro-Caribbean, Classical Modern, Modern/Contemporary, Contemporary Floor Technique, Jazz, Soca and West African. www.candacedancefitness.com

About our DCW Partner

WIADCA helps to promote, develop and celebrate Caribbean culture, arts, history and traditions through year-round programs which culminate with a week-long display of festivities and a grand finale Carnival parade expanding our cultural reach throughout the world.