She heads the Candice Clarke-Andell Dance Academy (CCADA) at the TSTT Sports and Social Club in Valsayn. “The Academy’s motto/mantra is to ‘Dance with a Cause’ and this initiative and belief endorses dance education with the aim of building self-confidence and self-esteem,” she said. Clarke-Andell emphasised that her group deals with issues of social awareness and strives to make a positive impact on youth development; using dance as the avenue of expression.
Clarke-Andell developed a dance-style called, “Creola” which she says reflects the colourful culture of the Caribbean people with a blend of all styles and techniques displayed in all of the Academy’s choreography.
“Creola is a fusion of the Graham and Horton Techniques and styles such as ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, tap, African and East Indian folk dance which is all currently being taught at the school,”she explained.
Today the CCADA is a seeing success, performing over 250 dances at various productions held every year. The group has held shows at the City Hall Auditorium in Port-of-Spain, La Joya Auditorium, San Fernando and for the past two years, at the Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.
The CCADA has been in existence since 1997 and is a member of The San Fernando Arts Council, The National Dance Association of Trinidad and Tobago. Clarke-Andell also supports the Arts Starts Community in Toronto, Canada where she conducted workshops in 2009.
The Academy has approximately 100 dancers ranging in age from ages 3 - 30. It was born in July 1997 at the back of Clarke-Andell’s rented home in Arouca, and later moved to the Bon-Air Government Primary School and then to the Arouca Community Centre then to the current venue.
Clarke-Andell started her career in dance officially at the age of ten at the Cama School of Performing Arts under the direction of Claudia Applewhite. She then joined the renowned Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Workshop at the age of 12, where she received several lead roles.
While there she received a scholarship to the Caribbean School of Dance to be taught the fundamentals of ballet under the guidance of Patricia Roe.
At age 16, she was the youngest at the time to be selected, through audition, to be part of the NDATT. She has performed pieces from well known choreographers such as Gary De Matas, Allan Balfour, Ronald Taylor, Sonja Dumas, Roxanne Fung, Terry Springer, Carol La Chapelle, Marlon Phillip, Allison Seepaul, and Torrance Mohammed. This talented dancer and choreographer is also a Certified Dance Educator accredited by UWI.
She is now preparing the academy for a tour to Jamaica where they have been contracted to perform at the Little Theatre Kingston, Jamaica on August 22 and 23. This production entitled ‘This Is Me’ will see choreography reflecting freestyle movements of TT.
The Academy will be then do a full production in November 2011 at Queen’s Hall.
Clarke-Andall recently completed a pilot with WINTV to launch a “Creola Dance Workout” television series. “This series will seek to define every body type and shape,” she said, adding that the objective remains maintaining the triple body form – “the sculptured, spectacular and sassy figure. This she says can be achieved using simple and effective dance movements.
The Academy is known for performing in Best Village and at various cooperate functions such as NALIS, Berbudez, Amcham, TSTT, and Movietowne (Fiesta Plaza).The group performed with soca star Iwer George in his presentations this year. They have also worked with Devon Mathews, Destra Garcia, and Shurwayne Winchester.