Sword-juggling men stop traffic in St Ann ...Dynamite Brothers thrills the North Coast

August 26, 2016
Carl Gilchrist Ronaldo Williams shows off his skills with the Yin Chi sword.
Carl Gilchrist Varrell Alexander, the man responsible for forming Dynamite Brothers.
Carl Gilchrist Sanjay Hines, 12, the youngest member of Dynamite Brothers, practises his juggling along Main Street in St Anns Bay on Tuesday.
Carl Gilchrist Ronaldo Williams shows off his skills with the Yin Chi sword.
Carl Gilchrist Member of Dynamite Brothers (from left) Sanjay Hines, Varrell lexander, Jevar Wilson and Ronaldo Williams.

n Dynamite Brothers thrills the North Coast

When a Thai taught Varrell Alexander the art of juggling about 20 years ago, he was happy but unsure of how he would utilise the skill.

"I was like, where am I gonna do this," he told THE WEEKEND STAR in St Ann's Bay, St Ann, on Tuesday.

Since his return to Jamaica from the United States, where he learned to juggle, Alexander started a unit called Dynamite Brothers, and he now teaches the art of juggling to its members.

"I never knew that it's gonna become part of my life, that it was gonna take me to different places in the world and offer me jobs and allow me to help out the younger kids. But they come and they love it, and right now, some of them are getting benefits from it," Alexander said.

Alexander's eight-member team consists of a 12-year-old boy, Sanjay Hines, and men who are drawn from communities across St Ann. They stop traffic in St Ann's Bay whenever they practise at the side of the road.

The group consists of Varrell Alexander, Sanjay Hines, Ronaldo Williams, Jevar Wilson, Stephen Stewart, Nico Morrison, Gilbert Shaw, and Oneil Spence.

"We do hand-balancing, contortion, juggling, fire-dancing, balancing show, single trapeze and double trapeze," Alexander said.

He added: "We juggle knife, fire, pin, and Yin Chi sword. It's something that you have to do with hand coordination."

Alexander said after he returned home from Florida, he was able to work on the hotel circuit, particularly with the SuperClubs chain, which also sent him to work further afield in the Caribbean.

The idea to start a group was born soon afterwards. Today, the members perform at several hotels along Jamaica's north coast.

"Dynamite Brothers is a young, multi-talented group of guys from off the streets who, some of them really not having a lot of things to do, so this keeps them occupied. My main goal is for all of them to get an education, no matter what, but also to get a talent and use that talent."

"The little young one (Sanjay) is my godson. He's a natural little star. Everybody loves him. It's a really good thing we're doing, and what I look forward to see is other younger kids come and learn because it's something that once you learn it, it's a skill for life," Alexander said.

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