A Passion For Music

Reneé Termica Ramsey has a fierce passion for music – both in song and instrument, and an extraordinary love for the art of dance.

She even finds the time to D.J. at small events. But it is her unyielding dedication to her craft that lets her stand out the most.

“I am what most people would call a “callaloo” in that, I get my Indian and Spanish blood from my Mother’s side of the family and my African and Chinese blood from my Father’s side.”

Born to Anthony Ramsey and Joann Samaroo in the quiet village of El Carmen, St. Helena, Ramsey has always dreamt of becoming a classical Indian Dancer, but her journey didn’t start there.

“I was fortunate enough to have supportive parents who encouraged me in whatever I wanted to do.” Ramsey says.

“I remember when I was just ten years old and still in primary school (Arouca Government Primary School), I told Mom and Dad that I wanted to go into dancing, and they signed me up for everything imaginable from Gospel to Sailor to even African Bellé.”

However, it wasn’t until she was 13 years old that Ramsey would find the genre that she felt “resonated with her heart.”

Renee Ramsey performs at the Divali Nagar. Photo by Vinayaka Marajh

“When I was entering into my secondary school (Bon Air High School) a close friend of mine told me about this cool, new dance group that didn’t dance like the others, called “the Nritya Sangam Dance Company.” So, I went and was immediately awestruck by what I saw.” Said Ramsey.

Ramsey says that their grasp and fusion of both the classical and modern elements of Indian dancing is what screamed at her that she needed to be a part of their ensemble. The group was managed by Neetu Reshma Singh at that time and since starting her dancing career, Ramsey has amassed a small fortune in trophies and medals.

During her time at the Nritya Sangam Dance Company, Ramsey and the group were awarded 2nd and 3rd place at the Prime Minister’s “Best Village” dance competition under the “East Indian Influence” category in 2011 and 2012 respectively. She was also personally awarded with “Best Dancer” and “Most Creative Dancer” by the group.

After spending two years with the group, Ramsey migrated to Singh’s newly-formed group “the Shiv Tandava School of Dance” as she had handed over control of the former group to her younger brothers – Dhanraj Jason Singh and Rishi Singh.

Upon joining the group, Ramsey was appointed as the Lead Dancer where she continued to accumulate glory. Her new group was awarded 6th place in a collaboration with her former colleagues during the National Council of Indian Culture’s Dance Competition in 2014.

In 2015, they placed 5th in the NCIC’s “Coca-Cola Teen Talent” dance competition. Her personal accomplishments in her new group would go on to include, “Most Supportive Dancer” and “Longest-Standing Dancer.”

In 2018, the Shiv Tandava School of Dance, led by Ramsey, took 2nd place at the Best Village dance competition under the “Chutney” category. Additionally, they stole 3rd place at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation’s “Charitable Organizations” dance competition.

Renee Ramsey on the Steel Pan at a community event. Photo by Vinayaka Marajh
Renee Ramsey on the Steel Pan at a community event. Photo by Vinayaka Marajh

But her love for dance isn’t the only thing that stands out about her story; Ramsey also has a drive and a passion for music – particularly the steelpan. It was her great grand uncle, the late legendary steelpan musician, Dr. Jit Samaroo that encouraged her parents to let her pursue her dreams. Her father enrolled her into the “Trinidad & Tobago Steel and Brass Symphonic Orchestra” where she began her musical career playing the Clarinet.

She was later introduced to the First Citizens’ Supernovas Steel Orchestra and to steelpan.
Ramsey described it as “love at first sight.” In 2014, her group took 2nd place in the “Small Band” category of the National Panorama.

Ramsey is presently participating in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts’ “Mentoring by the Masters 2019” programme via the East Indian Dance category under the tutelage of Dr. Satnarine Balkaransingh. Here, she is looking to increase her repertoire of creative skills by learning: Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, and other styles of Indian dance.

Additionally, at present in her dance group (the Shiv Tandava School of Dance) she is now a Dance Tutor and takes the time to educate and train others in the craft.

Ramsey advises parents, “Don’t stop your child from pursuing whatever it is they want to do. Always push forward! Go for it! Don’t let age and what others think stop them! Through God – everything is possible!”