BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, November 11, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — Pink Walk held on Saturday October 31 brought down the curtain on another successful Breast Cancer Awareness Month of activities on St. Kitts, climaxing with the releasing of pink balloons at the end of the walk in tribute to persons affected by breast cancer and also to those who would have lost the fight against breast cancer.
The month of activities was organised by the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation who held Pink Walk under the theme ‘Mask Up while we Unmask Breast Cancer’, while the balloons were released by members of Synergy Movements, a dance company based at the St. Johnston Community Centre in West Basseterre.
The dancers, who released the balloons at the Frigate Bay lawns where the walk ended, had not been stationed there to release the balloons. They had participated in the walk from Caribbean Cinemas where it had started at 5:30 am, joining among others, Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Shawn Richards, Minister of Health the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Minister of Education the Hon Jonel Powell, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mr William Vincent Hodge.
“Synergy Movements is a dance company – we are just four years old, making five in January,” said Artistic Director, Ms Marcia Jeffers. “This is something that I called my dancers to do, as a number of my dancers they have been directly and indirectly affected by breast cancer. Their parents, their guardians, mommies, neighbours have been touched, and as part of the grieving process for the past three years we started to support the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, and we come on the walks.”
Ms Jeffers, who is a Dance Specialist at the Department of Culture added: “This year I spoke to the President of the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, Ms Pamela Armstrong, and I said, I am going to bring my girls this year and I want to make a balloon release in tribute of all of these heroes, I call them ‘sheroes’, of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”
She observed that because dance is communicative and an expressive art, if the dancers can express through movement and create awareness to the public then they would have been accomplishing their mission and vision, which is ‘Empowerment through the arts – exhibiting the power of the arts’.
“I want my dancers to grow up knowing that dance keeps you healthy, but there are social issues that we need to pay attention to, and we can still reach out and care for other things besides dancing,” said the Artistic Director. “Being on the walk is really a long lasting moment for them especially the little ones and it helps them to remember – when I wear pink, this is for breast cancer.”
The Synergy Movements Dance Company has 115 members but only about 40 dancers were on the walk, and Ms Jeffers attributed it to the fact that a number of them live in the rural areas and were unable to wake up early enough for the 5:30 am start off time for the walk. Some even called her and apologised they could not make it. Parents and guardians of the members had also been invited to take part in the walk, and a number of them turned up.
Asked if the walk was not too strenuous for the young dancers, Ms Jeffers remarked: “They walked all the way from Caribbean Cinemas… dance is harder than this walk – this is easy. We do so much technical things in dance, so this was a breeze for some of them.”
After the walk, they assembled on the Frigate Bay lawns making the formation of a cancer ribbon each holding a balloon, and on being prompted by the Artistic Director they released the balloons into the air. They followed that with a dance which entertained some of the exhausted walk participants who were still around.
“Synergy Movements is a dance company that is mandated to empower,” explained Ms Jeffers. “Our vision is ‘Empowerment through the arts – exhibiting the power of the arts’. We meet at the St. Johnston Community Centre every Saturday. We start at 9:00 am and we go right down to 5:00 pm. Different age groups come at different times, and so we have a number of classes running. The classes last an hour, an hour and a half, and then we have another one. So it is a whole package on a Saturday for dance class.”