Born in the U.S. and raised in Barbados at a young age, Jamal began dancing at Ballet Tech and Brooklyn College Preparatory Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. He attended the Professional Performing Arts School/The Ailey School under the late Denise Jefferson, Restoration Dance Theatre and the Harlem School of the Arts. Jamal also attended Perry-Mansfield and Springboard Danse Montreal. A graduate from The Juilliard School in 09' under Lawrence Rhodes, he has worked with The Atlanta Ballet, Peridance Ensemble, Buglisi Dance Theater, Loni Landon Project, Formal Structure Inc., Hubbard Street II, Ballet Hispanico, and Kevin O'Day Ballett at National Theater Mannheim. In 2012, Jamal was awarded the prestigious Princess Grace Award in Dance. Theater credits include: CHICAGO (Fred Casely)-RMT. He has guest taught workshops all over the U.S. and internationally including summer intensives for Ballet Hispanico, New Orleans Ballet Association (N.O.B.A), the National Cultural Foundation (Barbados), and Institute of the Arts Barcelona (Spain), and MOVE(NYC) An advocate of the arts, he served as a member of Dance/NYC junior committee. Jamal currently is a soloist at the NationalTheater Mannheim (NTM TANZ) under Stephan Thoss.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - COURTENAY THORNE
is in a master’s program at Florida State University due to receive her MFA degree in Dance (Performance and Choreography) in 2021. While attending FSU the School of Dance has given her the opportunity to also teach ballet and contemporary dance forms at the institution. She previously received her bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in 2012 where she majored in Dance (Performance and Choreography). While she was a student at Skidmore College, she had the opportunity to be tutored by members of The Martha Graham Dance Company, The Limon Dance Company, Battleworks Dance Company, Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company, New York City Ballet and many more. After graduating she taught, choreographed and had involvement with The University of the West Indies (Cavehill, Barbados), Barbados Community College, The Dance Place (Barbados), The National Cultural Foundation (Barbados) and many other schools and artists in Barbados.
In 2015 she was presented with the opportunity to attend Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, England, and in 2016 she received her Diploma in Dance Studies. After completing her studies in London she travelled to Japan where she was invited to teach and present her solo work alongside members of the Mikiyo Imai Dance Company and other artists.
Prior to starting her MFA at Florida State University she lived in Trinidad where she performed, taught, choreographed and collaborated. She has worked with The Caribbean School of Dancing, The Metamorphosis Dance Company, The University of Trinidad and Tobago, Elle InfiniTT and other artists and schools. It was at this time that she presented two more of her solo works, once at Jamaica Dance Umbrella and once at the COCO Dance Festival.
Her love of travel and eagerness to keep learning has led her to attend many dance intensives and festivals in North America, Canada, Trinidad, Hungary and Jamaica.
Courtenay searches to further develop and refine herself as an artist as she keeps advancing throughout her career. Her goal is to not only push for growth in herself but to also see growth within those around her and her community. She believes that collaboration and connecting artists and movers from all over the world plays a crucial part in developing oneself and one's community. She’s excited to start her new journey as the Artistic Director Designate of Barbados Dance Project and she is extremely thankful for the guidance, support and training that Jamal has offered her up to this point in her career. She hopes to continue to keep building the legacy that Jamal has started and to see the dance community in Barbados grow and flourish.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - JOHN HUNTE
is an accomplished performer and arts activist arts manager, performer, choreographer, teacher and consultant. Hunte graduated with an MFA in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College, New York City in 2003. Recently, Hunte received a PhD degree in cultural studies from the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the Cave Hill, Barbados Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI). His PhD thesis, Beyond the Silence: Men, Dance and Masculinity in the Caribbean, interrogates where dance and masculinity intersect as perceived through the lens and perception of men who dance onstage. A former Cultural Officer – Dance at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Hunte is currently a research fellow, a part-time tutor at the Barbados Community College and temporary lecturer at the UWI Cave Hill Campus in the creative studies and cultural studies programmes. He recently completed the task of Artistic coordinator for CARIFESTA XIII held August 17 – 27, 2017 in Barbados. As General Manager and Producer with Barbados Dance Project, and Artistic Director of the BDP Ensemble, Hunte overseas ongoing choreographic process for budding dancers to collaborate with various performance projects.
ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - STEFANIE TAKEI-TAYLOR
Born in Pasadena, California where she trained at Pasadena Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, and Austin Ballet. She was a semi-finalist in the Los Angeles Music Center “Spotlight Awards” and went on to received a BFA in dance from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts as a Trustee Scholar and later a Masters in Tourism Marketing from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus. Stefanie has worked with choreographers Laurence Blake, Cherylyn Lavagnino, Doug Nielsen, Stephen Petronio, T. Lang, Brook Notary, Johannes Wieland, John Hunte, Tara-Jane Herbert, and Jamal Callender. She is a founding member of Diesel Fusion Dance Theatre with Ihaia Miller and currently teaches ballet and pointe at the Barbados Community College, University of the West Indies Cave Hill, Pehñyo Dance Center, and the Dance Place. Stefanie had the honor to represent BDP at the Coco Dance Festival in Trinidad. Outside of the studio you can find her at her company Bajan Cherry’s showroom or out catching waves.