Caribbean Beat Magazine

Let’s dance | Did you even know

How much do you know about Caribbean dance traditions? Let our trivia column put you to the test

  • Photo by Robertharding/Alamy Stock Photo

In this issue of Caribbean Beat, you’ll find a profile of Trinidadian dancer Alana Rajah. How much do you know about other Caribbean dance traditions? Test yourself with our quiz — and check your score in the answers below!

  1. What celebrated Trinidadian dancer and choreographer, based in New York City in the 1940s, performed under the name “La Belle Rosette”?

  2. What is the name of the acclaimed dance group co-founded at Jamaica’s Independence in 1962 by cultural luminary Rex Nettleford?

  3. The style of sensuous dance known to Trinis as wining has a different name in Barbados — what is it?

  4. What is the name of the popular Haitian two-step dance style, similar to merengue, that evolved in the 1950s?

  5. What Cuban prima ballerina founded the company that would become the country’s Ballet Nacional?

  6. What is the name of the small ankle bells worn by dancers in many classical Indian styles practised today in Trinidad, Guyana, and elsewhere in the Caribbean?

  7. The most popular traditional dance in the Bahamas shares a name with a style of music and the large goatskin drum that is the main instrument — what are they called?

  8. What agricultural product is dried after harvesting, and traditionally turned over in the sun by “dancing” it with the workers’ feet?

  9. Masquerade dancers in St Kitts — who perform in colourful costumes and masks, to the music of drums, fiddle, and fife — have a repertoire of six main dances. How many of them can you name?

  10. What is the name of the traditional Puerto Rican dance in which the dancer sets the rhythm and the lead drummer attempts to follow?

Answers:

1. Beryl McBurnie

2. The National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica

3. Wuk up

4. Compas (sometimes spelled konpa)

5. Alicia Alonso

6. Ghungroos (sometimes spelled gungurus)

7. Goombay

8. Cocoa beans

9. Quadrille, fine, wild mas, jig, waltz, and boillola

10. Bomba