Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE began as an idea by Founding Executive Director, Candace Thompson, in late 2014. It was lifted off the ground with help from Shola Roberts and Ricarrdo Valentine that then prompted a public meeting in April 2015 held with various Caribbean dance artists. The conversation focused on what the Caribbean dance community needed, the challenges they faced and how to work better together.
The next steps from the meeting were towards the ambitious goal of presenting the very first DCC dance festival by that June 2015. Through partnerships with Caribbean Cultural Theater and grassroots efforts within and outside of the community, the festival was put together. It was particularly well received by an audience that does not necessarily frequent dance shows or festivals, but was excited to see a piece of themselves on stage.
By 2016, the DCC family expanded with more willing artists and organizers volunteering their time and talents. There was more funding from the Brooklyn Arts Council which enabled bringing in seasoned artists, Christopher Walker and Kevin A. Ormsby, to present their work alongside local artists. In addition, 2016 brought on more programs including the DCC Lime, Dance-a-thon, New Traditions Master Class and the Diaspora Dance Series. The Artist Development Program blossomed to provide a mentorship exchange between newer artists and more established ones. The organization also saw more community and education partnerships with DCC providing artists workshops in schools for students.
Now in its third year, Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE has formalized its structure introducing the DCC Powerhouse and DCC Lead Artists team, working behind the scenes to grow and expand the collective even further.