Candace Thompson-Zachery, is a Brooklyn native, born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She is a dancer, choreographer, certified fitness professional and cultural producer and the beauty and brains behind CanDanceFit, the Artistic Director of ContempoCaribe and the Founding Executive Director of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE.
Her dance training is extensive, beginning in Trinidad and Tobago, where she received instruction in modern dance and ballet, at La Danse Caraibe under Heather Henderson-Gordon. She is a graduate of Adelphi University's BFA in Dance with the Ruth St. Denis Award for excellence from the dance department, and has gained experience in various dance styles including Afro-Caribbean, Classical Modern, Modern/Contemporary, Contemporary Floor Technique, West African and Soca Dance. Candace is a pioneer and expert in the Soca/Carnival Dance field and has been teaching one of the first Soca Dance classes in NYC started by La Shaun Prescott, for the past 4 years. Candace has enhanced her skill set as a cultural leader and entrepreneur through National Arts Strategies' & University of Pennsylvania's 2018 Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy and is an upcoming Masters in Performance Curation candidate at Wesleyan University.
CanDanceFit, a personal training, corrective exercise and movement instruction entity, serves clients and studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn, conveniently bringing safe, holistic fitness, exercise, dance and movement programs to fitness enthusiasts short on time, but big on quality and to studios delivering high quality training.
Skills and Certifications:
ACE certified Personal Trainer
Pilates Mat instructor
TRX® Suspension Trainer | Rip Trainer | FORCE certified instructor
Level 1 Kettlebell Concepts Instructor
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist (identify + correct movement/posture imbalances)
NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist (sports performance + program design)
The Brookbush Institute for Human Movement Science (Corrective Exercise + Program Design)
Additionally, Candace has extended experience in Afro-Caribbean Dance Techniques, Self Myofascial Release, Laban/Bartenieff Fundamentals, Gyrotonic Expansion system and in Ballet, Horton, Dunham, Graham, and Soca Dance. CanDanceFit merges the benefits of dance training with fitness and personal training strategies to serve both the average individual and the budding to professional performer. Currently, Candace does in-home training for clients in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and teaches Soca Dance and Total Body Conditioning at Mark Morris Dance Center.
Candace produces her own dance work under two umbrellas: ContempoCaribe and Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE. ContempoCaribe is a choreography and performance project creating art that embodies the plurality of experiences within the Caribbean Diaspora. ContempoCaribe's work has been performed at Dance Caribbean Collective's New Traditions Festival, COCO Dance Festival (Trinidad), Dancing While Black:jumpin fences, Dance Enthusiast's Moving Caribbean in NYC, Draftwork at Danspace Project among others. Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE is a collaborative and organising body, creating platforms for artists developing work from a Caribbean perspective, to show their work within the local diaspora community in NYC. DCC produces a season of Caribbean cultural events leading up to the annual New Traditions Festival.
As a performer, she is attracted to work that is challenging physically and emotionally, and is especially motivated to dance the stories of the Caribbean and its Diaspora. She has been honored to perform at major venues including, the Queen's Hall (T&T), Apollo Theater, the John F. Kennedy Center, Mark Morris Dance Center, New York Live Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, Danspace Project and the United Nations Plaza.
Credits: Trinidad & Tobago
- Allan Balfour - Trinity Dance Theater
- Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Company
- ELLE NYTT (for Lashaun Prescott, Patrice Roberts, Machel Montano HD)
- La Danse Caraibe - Heather Henderson Gordon (for Peter Minshall, Island People, Carifesta)
- COCO Dance Festival
- Andrea E. Woods-Valdez - Souloworks
- Andre Zachery - Renegade Performance Group
- Chris Walker - Facing Home: Love & Redemption
- Christal Brown - INSPIRIT, a dance company
- David Gordon - Pick-up Performance Company
- Abel R. Salaam - Forces of Nature Dance Theater
- Germaul Barnes - Viewsic Dance
Other special awards include being a part of the inaugural Dancing While Black Fellowship Cohort 2015/2016, Adelphi University's 2016/2017 10 Under 10 program awardee, and Dixon Place Artist-in-Residence for fall 2017.