JANUKA Achievements (2018) : Introduction

The year 2018 was another action-packed, exciting, fun filled year for JANUKA dance group.
As well as dancing the quadrille in public and private settings, we facilitated dance workshops in community halls, day centres and at private events. We also had many requests to sing Jamaican folk songs, with audience participation, as an integral feature of our engagements. The sing- along sessions were a delight for the senior citizens of Caribbean origins, who happily sang along with us with smiles on their faces. They remembered their youth and told us “Those were the good old days”.

We successfully recruit 5 children between the ages of 8-11 to our group. These children of Jamaican heritage are being taught Jamaican folk songs, Jamaican children games and the Jamaican quadrille dance. One child was overheard gleefully saying “The adults want to pass the dance down to us” That accurate perception of intent brought on a joyous feeling, thus the recruitment of children to our group continues.

We planned 4 “Taster sessions” during the year, which were open to individuals of all gender, ages and stages of life. These sessions were attended by a few women, some of whom subsequently joined our group. Others stated that although they enjoyed the session and loved what we are about, were unable to commit to practice on a regular basis. They offered to become Friends of JANUKA.

Our biggest challenge remains the recruitment of men to dance with us. When invited to do so they often retort a reluctance to dance in a group or unable to commit to regular practice. However we haven’t given up on our men folks, thus the recruitment drive continues. In the meantime some of us women will continue to adopt the role of men in our quadrille dancing.
In September 2018, we hosted an event called “An evening with JANUKA Part 3 – From Emancipation to Independence.

Our aim was to present a synopsis of the social, moral and political issues affecting the lives of Jamaicans during the 124 years leading up to Independence in 1962.

Through the medium of games, storytelling, proverbs, images, rituals, folksongs, poetry, music and dance, we would celebrate our ancestors’ determination to reclaim their humanity and cultural identity; reaffirm their ethical values and moral principles of life; reconstruct their family structures and build cohesive communities during this period.

The support we had from the local and wider community was overwhelming. The healthy buzz, joy and laughter radiating from the audience as they listened to our story, watched us dance, sang along with us and reflected on their own life experiences whilst growing up in Jamaica was fascinating. Their appreciation of our efforts was echoed in the sentiments we received “Thank you ladies for such a wonderful experience of Jamaican history. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Continue spreading your message of our wonderful story. Thanks again”

Further highlights from this event and other accomplishments during the year will be reported in a series of Blogs as outlined below:
Blog 2: Quadrille dancing in Private settings
Blog 3: Quadrille Dancing in Public settings
Blog 4: Quadrille Dance workshops in Community Halls and Day Centres
Blog 5A: An Evening with JANUKA – Historical information 1938-1962
Blog 5B: An evening with JANUKA – Food and Fruits we ate in Jamaica
Blog 5C: An Evening with JANUKA – Significance of Anansy Stories and Proverbs
Blog 5D: An Evening with JANUKA – Highlights of our Programme


We would like to thank all the insightful organisers of events, well-wishers and friends of JANUKA who opened doors for us, enabling us to share our passion for dancing and telling our ancestors’ story with grace and dignity. Thank You.

From: Beverley Bogle – Group coordinator.

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