Competition Expands International Influence & Introduces New Elements
After over a decade of successful stagings that has resulted in local dance crews showcasing their rhythm and moves on national television and winners being propelled into the international spotlight, this year’s ‘Mad and Mean’ themed Charles Chocolates Dancin’ Dynamites competition promises even more electrifying excitement, prizes and opportunities for competitors.
At the official launch last Saturday at Emancipation Park, Competition Conceptualiser and Executive Producer Jennifer ‘Jenny Jenny’ Small, along with title sponsor Charles Chocolates, revealed that for Season 14 the winning team will not only face-off with local talent at the finale episode, but also with international dance groups from Germany, Russia, Spain and Sweden in a bonus finale episode airing the following week.
Roxanne Brown, Brand Manager of Charles Chocolates, said, “For the past few years, we’ve had the winners participate in overseas competitions and events, but we decided to level up and reel in the international aspect with a battleground on local soil.” Brown continued, “This means two finals this season – one where the local dancers will compete for the Charles Chocolates Dancin’ Dynamites title, and a second finale where the local winners will compete against the European groups for the ultimate title.”
The competition kicked off with auditions on Saturday, January 12, at the Flow Store, Bargain Village, May Pen, with J$2 million in cash up for grabs and J$1 million in prizes. The production team has added an exciting twist to the face-offs to build the anticipation for each show. This year, the winner of each episode’s showdown will receive J$14,000 which they have the option to accept on the spot or take a gamble in hopes that they win the following week’s completion, incrementally increasing the cash pot to J$42,000 then J$70,000 thereafter.
This year’s iteration of the Charles Chocolates Dancin’ Dynamites competition will also feature a new philanthropic element as the winner will have the opportunity to make a donation to a charitable institution of their choice, through Charles Chocolates. Brown said, “For the past 14 years, we have given the dancers a platform to showcase their talents, but this time, we not only get to uncover new talents, we get to instill an attitude of gratitude and show that kind and thoughtful action can create real, meaningful change.”
Show producer Jennifer ‘Jenny Jenny’ Small agreed saying, “It’s big! Plus, they’ll get a chance for employment from some of the sponsors and other overseas opportunities. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to make a difference with their lives.”
The ‘Mad and Mean’ launch, was graced with the presence of Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, who expressed well wishes for the competition’s staging and hopes that it will continue to develop and further the art of dance in Jamaica while exposing the culture abroad. She said, “We have something that the world wants… This is an opportunity for young people to make their lives better and to become wealthy through their talent.”
Hosted by Weezy and Badda Bling, the night’s entertainment featured a grand performance from dancehall artiste Stylo G, with his smash hit Touch Down, much to the audience’s delight. Also performing were show judges Orville and Kerry, 2018 competition winners Street Team, past competitors Unruly Skankaz and Fantastic Steppaz, along with Sha Shi Xpressionz, Chin, and Jam Dynamites.
January 19 – St. Ann’s Bay Bus Park
January 26 – Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay
February 2 – Edna Manley School of Dance
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