O'Meally moving to her passion

Saturday, September 30, 2017

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OVER the past week, Sandals South Coast Guest Activities Agent, Toni Gay O'Meally represented Jamaica in the solo dance category of the Sandals Resorts International (SRI) Festival of the Arts Competition at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in St Ann. The competition is the premier event of the company's Entertainment Division showcasing the diverse artistic talents of team members across the Caribbean.

After landing the top spot in the category at the regional level, O'Meally went on to woo audiences at the Jamaican finals with her electrifying moves and daring fire props. She competed against her Caribbean counterparts in grand finals on Thursday and awaits the judges' decision tonight.

“While at prep school in Kingston I would perform in the JCDC (Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's) Dance Competitions, but I was mostly at the back of the formation as I wasn't very good,” she said. “I wasn't an 'A' Dancer, and I wasn't selected for the 'nicer' dance pieces. I was the little ugly duckling.”

But this didn't hold her back. She would have to work hard at developing her skills, which is exactly what she did throughout high school.

After graduation, O'Meally was determined to pursue a career as a freelance dancer and after joining the Romeich Entertainment group, she bagged several promotional gigs, even touring the Caribbean as a promo dancer for Magnum and Digicel. She has been a featured dancer in the music videos of top artistes like Sean Paul, Vybz Kartel, Tifa, Stacious, Razor B, and Busy Signal, to name a few.

Even a dance she created called Happy Juk became the inspiration for Shenseea's song of the same name.

“Working as a freelance dancer definitely has its perks”, she said. “From the showmanship and the excitement of the limelight to touring with chart-topping artistes. But it's not always stable. You could go from having a great week to no work the following week.”

In January of this year, O'Meally followed her heart to the luxury-included stages of Sandals South Coast. She's really happy with her new role and is ecstatic about being able to share her culture with visitors to the island.

“What I did this week at the Festival of the Arts was an extension of that. For me, it was never about a fancy award or a prize. I just love to dance, it's about the freedom, it's about sharing my culture and expressing who I am, and that to me is the ultimate prize,” she declared.




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