The School of Dance had its early roots in the Contemporary Dance Centre (CDC) established by Shelia Barnett and Barbara Requa in the late 1960’s. The CDC offered training in dance for physical education teachers as well as a junior programme for children. In 1970 the National Dance Theatre Company, which was founded by Professor Rex Nettleford in collaboration with Barnett, Requa and Bert Rose, formed the Jamaica School of Dance. The School offered professional training to performers, choreographers and dance educators, with a strong focus on research and training in African and Afro-Caribbean dance forms. Teaching staff included noted dance practitioners such as Sheila Barnett, Barry Moncrieffe, Yvonne Dacosta and Rex Nettleford. In 1976 the school became a part of the Cultural Training Centre, a new facility housing schools of Art, Dance, Drama and Music located at 1 Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston. The centre was renamed the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in 1995. Over the next twenty-five years the School expanded its curriculum, providing a diverse range of programmes in Dance Theatre and Dance Education at Diploma, Certificate and Degree level. It established a reputation as a centre for research and experimentation in African related dance forms attracting students and staff from the Caribbean region and internationally. In addition to its structured programmes the School also has a vibrant Junior Department and Evening School, as well as an In-Service Teacher Training Programme. The School of Dance continues to be a repository for research and experimentation in Jamaican and Caribbean cultural forms.
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