Richild Springer is Barbados’ first professional dancer of global excellence. She broke the mould that said you could not earn a living as a dancer. Her very being was dance. She moved like a dancer on and off the stage. She epitomized excellence in dance.
Richild was my personal inspiration to dance. As a young Girls’ Foundation student, Mollie Crowcroft from the London Contemporary Dance Theatre whet my appetite for dance. Richild Springer inspired my love of dance. I’d never seen anyone ooze dance in her every sinew like she did. I marvelled at how her lines carried through to her fingertips, so I was thrilled when she asked me to join her company Dance Experience.
It was easy for me to invite her as Lead Dancer and Choreographer of the Peter Goss Dance Company in Paris to be the first dance company to perform in the new state-of-the-art Frank Collymore Hall. She was, after all, Barbados’ premier dancer who had made a name for herself internationally and earned respect among the world’s finest dancers and choreographers.
From an early age, Richild took classes in classical and contemporary dance through the Graham, Horton and Cunningham technique. She perfected her skills in contemporary with Peter Goss and trained in the Alexander and Feldenkrais method.
Richild Springer distinguished herself and Barbados globally as she worked with Donald Mc Kayle’s company in New York; in Europe, with the Lester Wilson company and as a dancer, she worked with Molly Molloy and taught at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. She performed to much acclaim as the featured dancer at the Rose Ball and played Joséphine Baker at 25 in the last show, Joséphine in Monaco, in the presence of the principality and then to Paris.
Richild remained active in dance as a Master Class Teacher and Dance Examiner at the highest level in various international dance schools including Choréia in Paris and the Ballet Preljocaj. She willingly gave back to Barbados, coming home several times – first under the aegis of the NCF during my tenure as CEO and also later, independently, through her own Foundation, to share her knowledge with local dance companies given her passion to expand our local dance vocabulary. She always imbued our dancers with the skills and attitudes necessary to achieve and maintain excellence while embracing the joys of dance as a means of cultural expression.
Richild was always a beautiful gentle soul like a flower. Her positive spirit and delightful exuberance were often captured at her goddaughter’s Crop Over celebration: Dis Gotta Be Mas.
Her majesty as a dancer remains unmatched. I extend condolences to her family, friends and creative community.
Dr Allyson Leacock- former Manager, Frank Collymore Hall, former CEO NCF, dancer & friend.