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Ianthe Mellors always wanted to be
a dancer. Becoming a dancer became
Mellors’ lifelong dream after she was
bitten by the dancing bug from an early
Born in England, Mellors was still con-
nected to her Trinidadian and Caribbean
heritage because of her father. This con-
nection helped her to become drawn to
“When I was younger I was always the
one at the family parties dancing all the
time. And my dad would always play Burn-
ing Spears and calypso music, so when
family friends took dance classes, my par-
ents asked me if I wanted to join and they
kind of could not stop me,” Mellors said.
So at the age of three Mellors began
learning ballet and classical East Indian
dance. By age five she was already per-
forming before audiences around England.
Mellors continued excelling in dance.
But four days before her 21st birthday,
while Mellors was preparing for the final
performance for her dance degree, trag-
“Just before I graduated university with
my Arts degree a drunk driver broke a red
light and drove into a car I was in,” Mel-
Mellors’ pelvis was twisted in the acci-
dent. She also suffered other soft tissue
injuries.“It was just before my final per-
formance at university,” she said.
Mellors eventually graduated with a First
Class Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies at
As a result of the injuries she sustained,
though, Mellors could not dance for two
She, however, ensured she remained
“Because I was dancing since three and I
was so active I didn’t really feel like myself
so I did other things in the dance industry,
like I worked on dance festivals and did
everything else but I just didn’t feel like
myself,” she said.
“It was really bizarre, I didn’t realise that
until I started dancing again that that was
why I felt weird. At the time I was like ‘I
guess this is life after university’ but it
was only until I started dancing again that
is why I felt not like myself. I know this
sounds cheesy,” Mellors said.
When Mellors eventually started to
dance again after her two-year hiatus it
felt like she was training herself to walk
“I went to New York and trained at the
Broadway Dance Centre and it was really
weird and I started with ballet because that
is the thing I started with when I first start-
ed dancing and it was like training myself
to walk again,” Mellors said.
“So they would tell me to straighten my
legs and they would feel straight but they
would be bent so it was really stressful,
really emotional because it was something
that used to come naturally but ballet is
not natural, it is hard work.
“I had been working on it for years the
basics were normal to me so coming back to
dancing it was like I had to learn everything
again, it took a lot of focus and self control
not to quit,” Mellors said.
But Mellors did not quit.
She continued to pursue her dance.
Karishma Dhowtal, granddaughter of TrinIdadian classical singer Jameer Hosein, performs a classical piece Gghungroo Toot Gaye,
during the St Helena Development Corporation and surrounding areas’ Annual Indian Arrival celebrations at Eco Park, St Helena, on
Indian Arrival Day. PHOTOS: DION ROACH
ST HELENA CELEBRATES
“I started taking hip hop
classes again and dancehall and
contemporary and the people who
knew me before the accident saw
the change in me. It is ridiculous
how I completely became myself
again and it is something you don’t
realise has happened,” Mellors said.
“After my accident I had anxiety
and as soon as I started dancing again
I could not get enough, I could not
leave the studio. I just wanted to
dance like every minute of every day.”
Mellors was featured in the MTV
Europe series Plain Jane.
She is currently based in
London as a member of
the hip hop com-
pany Boy Blue
ed States to
her dancing further.
She advised people in this coun-
try to see dance as a way to deal with
some of society’s ills.
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