By RON FANFAIR
He honed his skills and technique at the renowned Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and did advanced training at the Juilliard School in New York that helps talented students harness their dedication to become communicative artists.
Barbadian Trevor Pretty considers himself very fortunate to be exposed to the best dance facilities and programs in the world and it’s for this reason he started a campaign to ensure that talented Bajan artists secure opportunities to develop their skills overseas.
He chose the Randolph Academy for Performing Artists on Bathurst St. as the base for young dancers to perfect their skills and Canada as the site for models to sharpen their talent.
With the help of notable Caribbean models, Pretty runs workshops in Barbados for aspiring models and these informative sessions culminate in a fashion show where the top performers are selected to come to Canada for two years.
“I live in New York part-time and I know the scene down there, but the reason I was hesitant in offering young people scholarships to go there is because I have been to schools in that city where cocaine and other drug abuse is prevalent,” he said. “You have to be very strong to survive that environment and temptation and not get caught up. I chose Canada because I think it offers the best opportunity for our young people to succeed.”
Pretty said Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean have an untapped reservoir of artistic talent.
“I know there is a lot of it in Barbados and other parts of the region,” he said. “Many times, young people come up to me and ask how I got to where I am at. I explain to them that it’s not easy. I also recognize that I have a responsibility to give back and help wherever I can.”
Pretty started dancing at age five and won his first competition two years later in Martinique. By age 16, he was dancing professionally and being handsomely remunerated for his smooth moves.
He will spend most of the summer in Toronto casting and preparing for an intriguing musical, Love Life and Happy Endings, to be performed over two nights in October at the Bathurst St. Theatre, and a docudrama – From Barbados to Broadway. The musical contains familiar and original songs that fuse rock, pop, soul, R & B, dancehall, calypso and traditional musical theatre.
“I wanted to create something original and that’s why I came up with the idea of this musical based on a collection of true stories of five young women and their challenges,” said Pretty. It’s a very sincere love story. The reality docudrama is about my journey from the little rock of Barbados to the big Broadway stage.”