Finding the right words to express herself is difficult for Megan Navarro but when her feet touch the stage everything feels like magic and she is able to speak in a way that words are not needed.
A dancer, choreographer, teacher and performer, Navarro knew from an early age that dance would always play a major role in her life.
Finding her voice and a way to connect with others through dance, Navarro has added yet another title to her name, Artistic Director and founder of M Danse Collective.
On August 17 the company presented its first show at the Black Box Theatre at La Danse Caraibe Studio, Luis Street Woodbrook.
Originally from Diego Martin, Navarro left her home in 2007 to pursue her passion for dance in Canada. For three years she studied at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre Professional Training Programme and upon completion of the course, she was awarded the “Solo Summer Project”, and had the privilege of working with well-known choreographer Sharon Moore on a solo work of her own.
After returning home in May 2011, she joined the Elle NYTT Dance Company in September of that year and currently holds the role of dance instructor, choreographer and performer. She also teaches modern dance at both their Cascade and Curepe locations.
Navarro wanted to explore other opportunities within her profession and collaborated with fellow dancers Zaidee Waker and Ladelin Garcia to open up M Danse Collective.
Navarro said, “The name M Danse Collective was derived from the first letter of my name, Megan and of course, I wanted to use the word dance but with a twist so that is why it is spelt differently. It is also a collective of all the various types of dance.
“I always wanted to start my own dance company. So this is what I am doing with M Danse Collective. It is all about working with the different genres of the arts. Whether it be; dance, film, photography, musicians, poetry or the spoken word, it is just finding a way to combine different art forms to create something unique,” Navarro said.
Last year, Navarro’s choreography “Con Tact” was showcased in the Coco Dance Festival at the Little Carib Theatre. This year she showcased “Third Stem” and “Dancing Through My Dreams” in Elle NYTT’s first Modern dance show where she also performed in works by Anika Marcelle, Delton Frank and La Shaun Prescott.
She said, “I appreciate all styles of dance however I prefer contemporary — modern; it is just where my love is,”
She noted that being a full-time dancer in Trinidad is difficult however she thanked her parents for their support and the sacrifices made in order for her to pursue her dreams.
Navarro said, “I have a normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job; however, dance is a second job that I also do full time. I do dance classes first and then we have rehearsals afterwards; almost every day single day; Monday to Saturday. Most dancers in Trinidad have one or two jobs they do apart from dance. I would say right now we don’t really have any companies in Trinidad where we can dance all day long and get paid at the end of the month. This is something we are trying to change. I think eventually we will get there one day.”
At just 26, the young dancer has been able to pursue the career she loves and had some advice for other young, aspiring dancers.
“It is going to be hard and not everybody will get it. However I think you need to stay true to yourself and really work hard if it is something that you want. Nothing comes easy and it always pays off in the end,” Navarro said.