Denesha Wright fulfilling her dancing dream

July 12, 2017
Denesha Wright in performance at the recent World Championship of Performing Arts.
Denesha Wright

Denesha Wright, 26, dreamed of dancing in Hollywood.

So when she came across an advertisement on social media seeking persons to represent Jamaica at the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Los Angeles, she jumped at the opportunity.

However, little did she know of the challenges she would face and the sacrifices she had to make for the competition which ran from June 30 to July 9.

“It was a very expensive journey and not having any sponsorship made it even more difficult. I remember having to empty piggy banks at home and trying to make every little dollar count. I used all my salary to put towards it so I had to go without lots of things for six months and I begged like crazy,” she told THE STAR.

Wright had to travel from Westmoreland to Montego Bay for rehearsals two nights a week and on one occasion, she was robbed of her cell phone at knife point by two men.

But after coming up with the money to make the trip, during the opening ceremony, Wright suffered an injury. 

“When I woke up the next morning my hip locked on me and I couldn’t move. I didn’t know what was happening, so I started crying and the doctors said I had an inflammation on the muscle and I had to rest it but I had to compete the next day,” she said.

After receiving treatment to alleviate the pain, she was able to perform. But while dancing, the injury resurfaced.

“During my second dance, I felt it pop and I was in excruciating pain for that dance and I performed my other two dances completely in pain,” she said. “I was scared but I had to finish. I went there to dance and I wasn’t going to allow the pain to stop me so I danced through pain.”

Williams had resumed dancing just six months before the competition after taking a five-year break. But she managed to walk away with a bronze medal in the ethnic folk dance category, one of three categories she entered.

“I have always doubted my abilities. I felt like I wasn’t good enough as other dancers that I see on YouTube and on TV and so it was an opportunity to prove to myself that I could compete regardless of how little training I had,” she said. "I don't come from a fortunate family and we have had to give up on several of our dreams, so it was basically for me to break the cycle and not give up on my dream."

There are no monetary prizes at WCOPA, but there are numerous benefits to be gained from participating including the chance to network with different industry players, and to get scholarships.

And having missed out on gold, Wright is setting her sights on the top prize next year.

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