L ooking at those beautifully choreographed dances presented at the "quince años" parties ( 15th birthday parties) one can only admire the talent of San Pedro's beautiful ladies. Well, the boys dance well too but the show is definitely stolen by the ladies.
This story is not about quince anos, but about San Pedro's dance talent and to pay tribute to one of our leading dance groups of all times - The Sunshine Dancers.
The Sunshine Dancers were made up of eight young ladies all attending San Pedro High School in form two at the time. The English Literature teacher, Miss Romy Taegar, was also a talented dancer with experience in choreography, and she helped with the arrangements of a dance presentation for the Lions Queen who was to compete in a National Convention Queen Pageant. The show was so good, and with the encouragement of the principal and a few interested girls Romy took on the challenge of organizing a dance group. Her fee was "nada"; it was done only for the sport of dancing. And thus the Sunshine Dancers was born.
The original group consisted of Deni Squires, Mini Squires, Mari Cruz Nuñez, Yesenia Muñoz, Lourdes Nuñez, Martha Badillo, Veli Paz, Fiona Elliott, and Judy Bremekamp. These girls were so dedicated, so enthusiastic and so energetic that pretty soon they were dancing like professionals. They were the main attraction at any civic, patriotic or cultural event held at Central Park. They were called upon to perform at hotels, conventions, even cruise ships in our harbour. They danced at several spots around the country and were the role models of many young ladies'
When Romy Taegar left the island, the group was then trained by Mr. Rene Ozaeta (deceased) who was one of Belize's main male dancers and who later served in the National Dance Company of Belize. Ozaeta took these girls to greater heights. Pretty soon there were several other groups that organized themselves under the inspiration of the Sunshine Dancers. There were the Rainbow Dancers, the Honeymoon Dancers and Merry Go Round Dance Group. They were good too but not of the same calibre of the Sunshine girls.
Then came graduation, separation, boyfriends, jobs, weddings, etc., and pretty soon after some 3 or 4 years, the Sunshine Dancers disintegrated. Several of the members began their own school of dancing and some 10 years later an attempt was made to bring them back. In 1990 with most of them married with children they were asked to perform at a Mothers Day Festival and 6 of the 8 girls presented their favourite items like "Bad" and "Bailando Merengue" to the delight of a packed Central Park. Once again they excited their audience and once again San Pedro gave them their deserved applause and love.
Telling you is not like seeing them. The Sunshine Dancers were good. They still are good. Can we get them together a third time? Judy and Deni believe we can. They can still kick five feet in the air, and if not. four feet is okay. With this sense of love. admiration and respect that we all developed for them, it is with great pride and honour that we welcome THE SUNSHINE DANCERS to San Pedro's HALL OF FAME.