They are as mischievous, witty and hilarious as they are motivated, ambitious and full of energy.
If you haven’t already done so, meet the 2018 Community Dance Fest winners Multifarious who are quite the handful.
Led by 26-year-old Cashka Kid Cash Turton, the all-male dance quartet also includes 26-year-old Shane River Jordan; 25-year-old Jamal Mally Dawn and 20-year-old Lesley Misfit Seale.
They turned the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium upside down on January 21 with their smooth transitions, incredible stage presence and great teamwork to claim the top prize in the community dance off.
Although still in disbelief that they actually won the national competition, the group is currently riding a wave of popularity that they have never experienced before.
Having won DanceFest 2018, the team will be on their way to Trinidad and Tobago this April for the World of Dance Competition qualifier.
“We want to be icons for Barbados in dance . . . icons for all of the youth, especially in these times where a lot of the violence is striking out all over the world in schools. We want to be [the source of] a positive vibe,” Mally told Bajan Vibes.
“We want to be a beacon for those who are lost, who don’t know themselves. Instead of saying, ‘oh let me go school and shoot up today, tell yourself oh I like that song I heard last night, let me do something with that there [and] send it to NBC,’” River advised.
Amid rising youth violence in Barbados, he also suggested that dance should be added to the school curriculum as a means of getting more young people to channel their energies in the right direction.
“I don’t think that dance and that sort of stuff should be an after school activity . . . . I just think it would channel the energy differently. Rather than having more conflicts in school, you will find more ways to resolve things. You have more time to think, [and] be better able to find yourself, “ he added.
Movies such as You Got Served and the Step Up franchise fueled their passion for breakdancing.
“From the time You Got Served came out, it was like, ‘Woah, what is this? We need to learn this now,’” River recalled, adding that as a teenager dance played a huge role in his personal and professional development. Misfit was also strongly influenced by dance movies, but when it comes to Kid Cash and Mally, you could say dancing is in their genes.
In fact long before Mally took the decision to specialize in break dance, his mother had used her influence to get him started ballroom and Latin, as well as line dancing.
Kid Cash’s father was a dancer as well, so dance has always been more than an art form for him.
“It is my legacy, because my father is a dancer as well and his dance group was very successful in Barbados before mine was,” he explained.
Members of the group have come a long way from their early days of practising in the car park of Black Rock Polyclinic and the gazebo at Queen’s Park. However, they are very concerned that their beloved art form is dying.
“[Before], the Park was the central location where dancers would be. That is where we found a whole set of new inspiration,” River recalled.
“It was a heck of a lot of people in this one gazebo, [but] now you can see that the gazebo is actually empty,” Kid Cash lamented.
“Dance is dying in Barbados. It’s hard to keep it alive because a different culture is carrying the youth right now,” he said, explaining that “everybody is into the whole [controversial skin out] street vibe [nowadays]”
Nevertheless, Multifarious, who performed just recently at the Holetown Festival and at Love Poetry and Song stages, say it intends to do its part to keep the local dance vibe kicking.