Carnival Creations (Training and Performance Group)

Jazzmin writes about Carnival Creations...

My name is Jazzmin McClure. I am 17 years old and am studying A level, drama, English literature and religious studies in Lagan College, Belfast.

I have been involved with The Beat Initiative and its young people’s performance group, Carnival Creations, for about 8 years and I truly believe that this unique company has provided me with endless, once in a lifetime opportunities.

To be specific: one of my favourites would have to be our trip to the Liverpool International Street Carnival. I first traveled to this amazing event back in 2006 and then was lucky enough to be invited back a second and now a third time! I am very enthusiastic about this year’s carnival as Liverpool is the Capital of Culture and I know taking part will be something to be proud of.

During our preparations for the first carnival, a choreographer from Brouhaha (Liverpool) was sent over to help with the dance workshops. However the following years' work was left up to us and Beat’s own choreographer: I suppose we impressed them so much.

During these visits the group gets a chance to bond with not only each other but also many other different companies – for example Sunshine International Arts. Through these companies we were able to make new friends and gain a better understanding of different forms of carnival and dance.

Beat’s training includes a Youth Achievement Awards scheme and during the 2006 trip we were able to work on the Bronze Award, which was a great success. During this year’s trip we have advanced on to our Silver Award, which will entail a lot more responsibility and cover the whole process of planning for and organising the trip as well participation in the performance.

Going to Liverpool and taking part has enabled me to gain more personal qualities and skills. This is so important to me as I believe experience creates even more opportunity – and so for this I give great thanks to The Beat and can’t wait to see what they have in store for the young people of Carnival Creations.

Jazzmin