Dancers' Paradise: Domani Black makes big moves overseas
There are a lot of things that have changed over the years for 22-year-old Domani 'Patroy' Black, like his scholastic endeavours and even his country of residence. But one thing remains consistent, and that is his love affair with dance.
Black relocated to the United States to be closer to his daughter and is based in Florida, where he forms part of the dance group Black Eagles. There, he is also a dance teacher and instructor.
"It's different here in the States when it comes on to dancing, especially since dancehall is new to a lot of people here," Black told THE WEEKEND STAR. "My dancing has improved a lot, and I've also been exposed to a wide variety of dancers and different dance genres and cultures."
In addition to now having a broader dance repertoire, Black has also participated in international dance competitions like World of Dance (Los Angeles) in August, where his group made it past the first round.
But he is no stranger to competing. Black recalled chasing his dreams while attending the McNie All-Age School and Edwin Allen High School while living in Clarendon.
"From primary school, I was always entering the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) dance competition, where I did many dance pieces - dancehall, hip hop, folk dances, which I got gold medals for," he said. "From the eighth grade to 12th grade in high school I still entered, but I also entered Dancin' Dynamites and the World Reggae Dance Championship (WRDC) in Kingston numerous times while in the group called All Stars," he said.
As a student, Black said it was difficult to campaign for votes to advance in the televised competition, resulting in their elimination. He did, however, place second in the WRDC in 2010 while part of the troupe.
Growing up in an extended family, Black shared that his parents gave him the freedom to explore his dance interests on the condition that he strikes a balance with academics. Black noted that he completed a year of civil engineering studies at the University of the West Indies before deciding to pursue dancing full-time.
Going forward, Black hopes to make his own contribution to boosting the Jamaican dance industry in foreign territories.
"My dream is to put dancehall, in terms of dancing, on big platforms such as 'World of Dance' and 'So You Think You Can Dance'," he said. "I want the world to recognise our wonderful genre of dance, and I also want to open a dance company or school, and implement dance programmes in schools in Jamaica and here in the States."