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JCDC FAMILY MOURNS THE LOSS OF DANCE STALWART SHEILA BARNETT

The passing on the weekend of Sheila Barnett, OD has left the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Board of Directors and staff members mourning the loss of another Cultural Icon. Mrs. Barnett worked with the JCDC for more than twenty five years, providing unstinting support to the development of the National Dance Competition.

According to Delroy Gordon, Deputy Executive Director of the JCDC, “From as early as the 1960s, her monumental contribution to the Jamaican dance landscape positively developed a deep appreciation, knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of folk and traditional dance forms. This in turn, developed and nurtured a talented cadre of distinguished dancers from the competition that continues to build the rich array of Jamaican dance expressions for national identity and assertion.”

Gordon noted that her humility and dignified persona won the love and respect from the JCDC family, teachers, and participants. Her gracefulness and the demonstration of respect for those with whom she worked, made her a professional dance educator who positively branded the image of the JCDC and by extension, dance in Jamaica.

Jennifer Morgan-Garwood, JCDC’s Dance Specialist, explained that Barnett’s involvement in the JCDC’s dance programme is mirrored in many dimensions as she used her expertise and knowledge capacity to execute a wide variety of developmental activities which resonated with excellence.

“Her passion was for a national dance development thrust as a catalyst for national development. As such, for many years she worked as: chief adjudicator, facilitator at numerous seminars, dance workshop resource person, choreographer, and a dedicated team member of the National Dance Committee. She also did tremendous research in dance which facilitated the production of various literatures that were available to thousands of teachers and dance leaders island-wide at her workshops”, Garwood said.

Sheila Barnett’s partnership with the JCDC was indeed fruitful. Her relentless quest for excellence in dance contributed to the birth of a National Dance Competition that is relevant and dynamic to the changing needs of the cultural tapestry of Jamaica for continuity and national pride. Through the provision of various documents generated from her research pursuits, she inculcated the immense value of dance as an art form that is as an essential tool to teach and enhance academics for vibrancy and interest in learning.

 
For more information contact:
Renae Mills
Public Relations Coordinator
Tel: 926-5726-9/ 371-3423

renae.mills@jcdc.gov.jm

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