GREG ROLLE with the six youth from the Urban Renewal programme in Grand Bahama - Hope Broween, Akeem Stuart, Arjene Stubbs, Diondrea Nixon, Kendizlo Stubbs and Traydico Bethel.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
MIAMI, Florida — It was a special night on Tuesday for six Bahamian Carnival dancers and six youngsters from the Urban Renewal programme in Grand Bahama.
They were all a part of the Ministry of Tourism’s big promotion of the Bahamas at the Heat’s NBA game inside the American Airlines Arena against the Chicago Bulls.
The dancers, according to Petra Haven, who headed the contingent to Miami, were a part of their promotion of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival that will be returning for the second time.
“The ladies are a part of Junkanoo Carnival and they were invited to come to Miami to be a part of this special night,” said Haven, the marketing coordinator for the carnival. “I selected six ladies that I knew had the dancing abilities and the looks to be here and I think it was a great opportunity for us to be here to represent the Bahamas.”
During the beginning of the game, the ladies’ teamed up with the Miami Heat dancers to put on a number of performances that left the fans cheering with their approval.
For Elan Mackey, who participated in the event with Tanya Strachan, Myrkeeva Johnson, Zerline Lockhart, Arlicia Bethel and Pischia Adderley, it was indeed an honour for them to be in the AAA before the live television audience. “It was very exciting. It was a great experience, a great opportunity to be a part of a different style of dancing that we have never done before,” Mackey said. “We have been together before as a group, but we never performed together. So it was a lot of fun for us performing together here in Miami.”
While the dancers took centre stage performing on the court, the youngsters from Grand Bahama were just as enthused about being in the stands watching all of the action.
Omes Lightbourne along with Pete Armbrister served as chaperones. She noted that it was a pleasure to work with the three girls and three boys, inclusive of Hope Broween, Akeem Stuart, Arjene Stubbs, Diondrea Nixon, Kendizlo Stubbs and Traydico Bethel.
“We were invited here by the Ministry of Tourism and also the Miami Heat,” Lightbourne said. “This year, the Ministry of Tourism chose these kids from Grand Bahama, so we are just delighted to be here. This is our first real NBA game we are watching in the arena. So on behalf of our director Michelle Reckley, we are pleased to represent Grand Bahama here at this event.”
The group got a chance to sit in the stands close to the court, but they preferred to stay up higher in the Ministry of Tourism’s suite where they got to watch all of the action.
Last year, the Ministry hosted a similar event when they entertained a group from the Ranfurly Homes for Children.