April 16, 2010
Primus – Youths need guidance

The promoter at the centre of the schools’ cheerleading and dance competition is calling for cooperation between his organization and the Ministries of Education and Culture so that young people interested in modern dance can be properly directed.{{more}}

Christo Primus, Director of CPR Promotions told Searchlight on Wednesday that there is “a new trend of dance the youths are interested in and we need to direct them and take the positive from it.”

Primus was responding following public outcry about scenes from this year’s “Schools Dance Off and Cheerleading Competition” which were broadcast on SVG TV last week.

The show, which was held on Saturday, April 3, took place at the netball centre at New Montrose and involved 13 dance groups from around the country.

Some of the scenes broadcast on television showed some dancers from one of the dance groups engaged in moves which mimicked aggressive sexual acts.

“They basically lost it… they got out of hand. It was the very last dance of the night and it happened. We reprimanded the group and disqualified them,” Primus told SEARCHLIGHT.

Following the broadcast of video clips from the show, the Ministry of Culture moved swiftly to distance itself from the show, saying that it does not “support, endorse or promote those styles of dances.”

“The trained Dance Development Officers in our Ministry have resisted such approaches from private promoters as we strongly opposed deviant behaviour and revolting public displays, especially involving school children,” the release from the ministry said.

Condemnation of the show also came from the Youth Affairs Department, which in a release said the department “wishes to share in the condemnation of the vulgar and explicit brutal sexually oriented demonstration of those youths involved…”

The department also called for collaboration in “helping to keep our nation’s youths on the right track.”

In the release issued on Monday, April 12, the department also commended SVGTV for showing the clip from the competition and said the exposure is “another reminder that as a society, we need to work together in the interest of moral values and discipline.”

However, Primus, who said this is the fourth year that he has held the competition, was not so complimentary of the television station.

Primus told SEARCHLIGHT that what was shown by SVGTV was not a true reflection of what took place on the night.

“The TV station, being a sponsor, also should have been more responsible because the content of the show belongs to CPR promotions. They took out a particular clipping and showed it on the news and reflected what the show was really not. I in no way condone what happened, but I think I should have been consulted by SVGTV, being the custodian of the show.”

Primus said in the thirteen years since he has been holding shows, there has never been an incident like this.

He said that he is aware of dance workshops (held by the Ministry of Culture), but he was not aware what type of dance they are targeting.

“What we really need is cooperation between CPR and the relevant ministries going forward. I am open to dialogue. I think free expression and expression of creativity in dance should be encouraged. It just needs direction. If the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture are the ones with the expertise, I am clearly willing to work with them, but we should not kill the show because of one incident from one group that took place once in thirteen years.”