A group of dancers and drummers in a cream colored studio all smiles after dancing, studying, and conversing all day

About the Caribbean Dance Teacher Training Lab

The Caribbean Dance Teacher Training Lab is dedicated to providing Caribbean dance practitioners and educators with in depth learning experiences to bolster their understanding and mastery of Caribbean dance forms and culture. Each lab focuses on a specific topic area, creating space for dance instruction, conversation, access to archival footage, live cultural accompaniment and follow up resources led by Master Teachers in collaboration with the lead organizer. Participants are accepted by invitation only.

Inaugural 2024 Lab

  • Date: May 19, 2024 New York, NY
  • Duration: 8 contact hours
  • Topic Area: African-Trinidadian Folk Dances
  • Master Teachers: Michael Manswell, Kieron Sargeant
  • Lead Organizer: Candace Thompson-Zachery
  • Expert Respondent: Patriann Edwards

Meet the Team

Brown skinned black man, topless, leaning to the right with his arms extended diagonally to the left from the front of his body, his head is tilted down and he is wearing multicolored patterned pants and a headcap. Master Teacher
Kieron Dwayne Sargeant was born in the twin island state, Trinidad and Tobago, the most southerly of the Caribbean Archipelago. He is an interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, drummer and dance researcher emerging out of the African-Caribbean Diaspora tradition.

Over two decades, Kieron has meticulously documented Caribbean and Western African dance traditions. His pedagogical approach involves the dissemination of dance teachings and workshops that both recognize and reinforce these traditions. His performance pieces often integrate spiritual, cultural, and sacred themes. Notably, his work “He Shall Walk” (2023), presented by Northwestern Black Arts Consortium, offers a profound exploration of his personal journey as a “Mourner”. Through choreography, he examines the generational wisdom and history that resonate within the body, manifesting at moments of introspection.

Kieron’s contributions to the realm of masterclasses are evident in renowned institutions like Florida State University, Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, Woezo Africa Music and Dance Theatre Inc., the International Association of Blacks in Dance, NYU Steinhardt, the Nigerian Dance Guild, Ecole des Sables, and Simon Fraser University. His choreography has been showcased nationally at Universoul Circus, Florida State University, Northwestern University, SUNY Brockport University and internationally at MSC Mediterranean Cruise Lines, Brin Chocolat in Lome, Togo and at the Nigerian Dance Guild in Nigeria.

Academically, Kieron holds an MFA in Performance, Choreography from Florida State University, an MA in Community Dance from Ohio University, and a BA in Dance from the University of West Indies. Among his notable recognitions are the 2019 FA Ada Belle Winthrop King Art Endowment Award from Florida State, 2020 UNESCO Dance Fellowship and a Grant Wood Fellow in Interdisciplinary Performance in 2022 from the University of Iowa.

In 2020, he founded the Kieron Sargeant Dance and Dance Education Foundation in Trinidad and Tobago, creating a supportive space for artists to thrive in the country. He has received recognition for his work, including the 2021 International Artist Award from the Ayjano Folklore Heritage and Performing Arts Institution of Nigeria, a mentorship position with the Mojuba Dance Collective Company, and the prestigious Mayor of the City of San Fernando Citation Award 2023 for his significant contributions to the arts, dance and culture of Trinidad and Tobago.

Kieron is currently involved in joint projects with Hofstra University and Rutgers University, working closely with scholars and artists from around the world. These collaborations demonstrate his dedication to exploring and enriching the worldwide significance of African contributions to dance traditions.

Master Teacher

Michael Manswell, Artistic Director of Something Positive is an award-winning Dancer, Singer, Choreographer, and Teaching Artist. Michael began his creative journey as a storyteller at arts festivals and later studied music with Lindy-Anne Bodden-Ritch and at Brooklyn College with Tom Cultice. As a singer he has toured Europe, the UK, and the Caribbean and has performed as a soloist in productions of opera and oratorio including Dido & Aeneas, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Messiah, Missa Criolla, and Missa Luba. He studied dance at the Trinidad Dance Theater (TDT) with Eugene Joseph training in Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Ballroom, and Folkloric styles. Michael worked with Geoffrey Holder on “Dougla II” and “La Valse des Bakas” for TDT and toured with the company in North America and the Caribbean. A prolific choreographer, he has created numerous works currently in the repertoire of Something Positive as well as “Once Upon This Island” (Packer Collegiate Institute), and “Belle” (Brooklyn College). An orisha devotee in the Yoruba religion (Trinidad and Tobago) Michael presents lectures in dance, music, and the traditional religious practice and has worked closely with the Interfaith Center and the Caribbean Cultural Center in their programs. He currently teaches for Something Positive Inc., the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Caribbean Cultural Center and is on faculty at Lehman College (the City University of New York).

Creator, Organizer + Moderator

Candace Thompson-Zachery, born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago and now local to Brooklyn, NY, operates between the spheres of dance, cultural production and fitness and wellness, with a focus on the Contemporary Caribbean. She has had an established career as a performer, choreographer, fitness professional, cultural producer, teaching artist, community facilitator and Caribbean dance specialist. In addition to her work in these areas, she leads ContempoCaribe, an ongoing choreography and performance project and is the founder of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE, an organizational platform for Caribbean dance in the diaspora that spearheads the New Traditions Festival in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Adelphi University’s BFA program for Dance, and has presented, performed and taught at major venues + institutions including: Queen’s Hall (T&T), John F. Kennedy Center, New York Live Arts, Brooklyn Museum, and The Ohio State University. She was an inaugural member of the Dancing While Black Fellowship Cohort 2015/2016, was an awardee of Adelphi University’s 2017 – 10 Under 10 program, and a Dixon Place Artist-in-Residence for fall 2017. Candace holds an M.A. in Performance Curation from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University and a Executive Program Certificate in Arts & Culture Strategy from National Arts Strategies and the University of Pennsylvania. As a cultural producer and strategist, Candace has worked with the Dance and Performance Institute of Trinidad and Tobago, WIADCA (NY), Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, Renegade Performance Group, and curator Claire Tancons, for the 2019 Sharjah Biennial. Candace is currently one of 3 Co-Executive Directors at Dance/NYC – a non-profit umbrella organization for dance in New York City.


Expert Respondent/Demonstrator

Patriann Edwards is a multidisciplinary performing artist, dance educator & independent cultural researcher from Trinidad and Tobago. Extensively trained in dance and the fire arts, Patriann holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performing Arts – Dance, from the University of Trinidad & Tobago.

Throughout her university years, she was trained by many esteemed dance educators including Sonja Dumas, Nicole Wesley, Terry David, Susan Mohip and many others. Her wealth of experience extends to over 20 years of performance, training & mentorship within the artistic & entertainment industry in the Caribbean and the United States. She has had the opportunity to perform & work with many of the Caribbean’s top Soca artists and also toured the United States as a dancer/firebreather with the UniverSoul Circus in 2018.

A former National Youth Ambassador for the UNICEF’s XChange Program, she has participated in this international program which advocated for the cessation of violence and abuse toward children.

While attending university, Miss Edwards and a few of her peers were the first scholarship recipients of The Dance & Performance Institute, “New Waves” Summer Program. Directed and curated by Makeda Thomas, Patriann was privileged to be engaged in dance studies and artistic immersion with leading international dance artists, & dance scholars of the U.S & the Caribbean Diaspora including Dyane Harvey Salaam, Chris Walker, Makeda Thomas and many more.

Upon completing her undergraduate studies, she went on to receive and complete of the New Waves-Movement Research Institute of New York’s, MELT. Summer Intensive International Scholarship; being trained & mentored by artists Luciana Achugar, André M. Zachery, RoseAnne Spradlin, Levi Gonzalez, Donna Uchizono, and many others.

Recently, Patriann completed a dance scholarship from the Woodshed Dance ‘Unrest & Survival’ Dance Intensive, where she received the opportunity to learn from dance artists including, Michelle Grant Murray, Christal Brown, Tamara Williams, Millicent Johnnie, André M. Zachery, and many others. Ms. Edwards is currently a scholarship recipient of the Kieron Dwanye Sargeant Dance and Education Foundation pursuing the Dance Criticism & Aesthetics Course, taught by Gregory King.

A “Jane of many trades”, Patriann continues to advance her artistic training, development & expertise independently, and teaches classes and workshops in the Afro-Traditional Dance Forms of Trinidad and Tobago and West African dance.

With a deep passion for her culture, Ms.Edwards aims to use her knowledge and growing expertise, to actively contribute to the accurate promotion, conservation and continuance of the rich, vibrant Afro-Traditional Dance Forms of Trinidad and Tobago, and that of the African Diaspora.