Cultural Quarterly Magazine Online
Cultural Close-up_12-2012

JayaDevi, Arts Inc. 
By Helene Foster

A recurring dream of dancing with the revered goddess of the Hindu culture, with her ornate attire, sparkling jewels and spirited ritual dancing, sparked Plantation resident Denyse Baboolal to share a passion for dance with both young and old.  

“I was often approached about opening a dance school in South Florida,” explains the native of Trinidad and Tobago. At first she was unsure if she wanted to take on all of the workload that operating a school teaching a variety of traditional and cultural dance forms would entail. Her Indo-Caribbean heritage frowns upon women taking up a full time job in the performing arts, but rather puts a higher emphasis on education and study. Despite this, she still followed her vision and things fell into place. She recalls, “I dreamed of the goddess and myself dancing together and knew that it was meant to be.”

This dream became reality in 2008, when Baboolal opened Jaya Devi Arts, Inc. (JAI). Children and adults shared the same class and learned to dance such spectacular performances as Chutney, Lucknow Kathak, the Spoken Word and