Over a hundred patrons turned up to De-stress at the top floor at the Port Mall last Saturday night in the second edition of the dance fitness-based event. De-stress was conceptualised by 25-year-old Ameika Louis; the proud owner of Dance Fitness Tobago and Ile Dingolay - Movement Studio at the top floor of the Port Mall.

The event, designed for participants to let off some steam, was an opportunity for everyone, not just dancers or fitness enthusiasts, to free themselves from doubts and negative energy for 2-3 hours.

"It's allowing others to feel how I feel after performing on stage," Louis said.

The event featured segments of Afro beats, old school soca, dancehall, new soca and African dance.

"I literally pulled from what I was accustomed to; I grew up dancing to drums, folk and West African dancing. Eventually, I got a taste of dancehall and I just knew that I wanted to share this experience with others. Different people are moved by different styles of music, so I always try to give people a taste of what it has on the island and what there is in the world."

Louis started her dance fitness company in 2018 but has been teaching dance fitness with Encore, a company in Jamaica, for the last two years, after being discovered as a phenomenal dancer at a party.

Louis said she is primarily a dancer but is very connected to the music as well. Providing the music for the African dance segment was a group called Tobago Senegal – a band which Louis is also a part of. The drumming group tantalised participants with their intensity and rhythm and many were enticed to do freestyle African dancing as the music guided their movements.

Participants were also pleased with all the styles being offered during the three-hour dance session as they were exposed to a yoga-based warm-up by Lindsay Hall, a co-ordinated dance Afro-beat session with Chappy, a session with JJ's exclusive dance project and dancehall and African dance session with Louis.

She said she was pleased with the overwhelming support and turnout this year. Prior to the event close to 100 people pre-registered and many bought jerseys to further support the dance fitness Tobago brand. In terms of future plans for the event Louis said, "I'm already planning for year five, however for next year I want to move it outdoors, I want to include fitness houses in Tobago as well as Trinidad and maybe even the region. I stated dance fitness in Jamaica so I may even include some of my dance family from out there."

The original article can be found here.

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