|Congratulations to SWS: Our first
Junior Queen of Carnaval is Merissa Lyons!
Sistas-wit-Style was formed by 3 dynamic pre-teens, and has grown to become a very large contingent.
Merissa Lyons, CEO, Valencia Newton, COO, and Kianna Rachal, CFO, now
in High School, are the founders. Their manager is Anabelle Goodridge,
Merissa's mom, who is originally from the Caribbean. Through her, they
learned about the culture and music of Trinidad. When Merissa was
little, she participated in Mas Makers Massive. When the
other girls got a taste of that beautiful Trini music and dance, it was
just a matter of time before they decided to start their own group. Once
a year was just not enough. They enjoyed it so much, that they founded
the Caribbean Folk Performing Dance Company when they were
9 and 10 years old. They now teach dance at six different elementary and
high schools in Oakland, as well as giving classes every Saturday. They
have mobilized tremendous support from the community, and are committed
to making a difference in their community by showing that there is a
positive side to what kids are doing in East Oakland. They have the kind
of commitment and focus rarely seen in kids that age. Last year, they
launched their contingent, Sistas wit Style, in San Francisco Carnaval,
and won prizes for costumes and performance. This year, their theme is
"Sweet Dreams", a group of children dreaming what they want to be when
they grow up. Merissa, Kianna and Valencia choreographed all of the
Mosqueda, Queen of Carnaval 2005, now has 2 people of royalty! Mixtiso, will dance to a little bit of everything: lots of cumbia, some dance hall Caribbean, traditional Mexican, reggaeton hip hop, and even some American Indian fancy dancing. Vanessa says "my choreography Mixtiso is an extension of my body, soul, and heart. We give thanks to all indigenous people, and all the universe. We give thanks for another day in life."
Congratulations to the Bay Area Caribbean
Connection: the new Prince of Carnaval is
Junior King and
The contest takes place at 3:00 pm on Saturday, April 22 at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission Street, (between 24th & 25th Streets), San Francisco. Competition is expected to be strong as several Carnaval groups have entered their own candidates and entries is expected to number more than twenty.
"It is thoroughly fitting that we inaugurate our royal competition for youth and children in a year when our Carnaval theme is 'Land of Childhood Dreams' and Dora the Explorer is our Grand Marshal," commented Carnaval Advisory Committee chair Ann Blankenship.
Carnaval organizers are looking for children and youth who can perform in Carnaval style. Contestants for Prince and Princess must be ages six to 12 years. Contestants for Junior King and Queen must be ages 13 to 17 years. [Anyone 18 and over is welcome to compete in the King and Queen Contest to be held April 1.]
A mandatory orientation for the junior contestants and their parents or guardians will be held on Saturday, March 11 at the Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc. (MNC) Auditorium, 362 Capp Street (between 18th & 19th Streets), San Francisco. Application fee for the contest is $15 for one candidate and one parent/guardian. All contestants must pre-register.
The Carnaval Advisory Committee of volunteers is seeking donations of scholarships, saving bonds, computers, educational toys, gift certificates for books to serve as contest prizes. Donations may be sent to MNC. Please contact Karol An Meier, Event Coordinator, at (415) 920-0122.
Tickets to the competition are $10 for adults, $5 for youth/seniors and free for children six and under. Advance tickets are available at MNC or Mission Cultural Center and at the door of the event.
Return to www.carnaval.com/sf06