Dance judge participates in multiple dance events | THE DAILY HERALD

Dance judge Paula Daal-Doño with other judges during a recent salsa competition abroad.

Paula Daal-Doño on stage.

PHILIPSBURG–Local dance judge Paula Daal-Doño took part in multiple dance events this year as a judge and host.

The most recent event was the Caribbean Dancesport Classic at El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico from October 30 to November 4. She also represented St. Maarten, again as a judge, at the 2018 World Salsa Open final in Panama City in July and the first-ever women salsa competition in Cayey, Puerto Rico, in October.

Daal-Doño has worked for more than 20 years establishing a name for herself in the salsa world, taking part in multiple worldwide congresses and being selected as a judge for several years in a row due to her performance and skill.

The World Salsa Open final is usually held in Puerto Rico, but due to damage from the devastating Hurricane Maria, the organisers decided to hold it in Panama City this year.

Considering the damage from Hurricane Irma to St. Maarten, organisers sponsored a hotel room with board for St. Maarten representative Daal-Doño. This year’s winner of the main event was a couple from Colombia.

In view of the success of the Open, organisers are considering hosting the event in a different Latin American country next year. “This is an exciting time to be part of this competition, as it’s starting to grow rapidly. Maybe someday it can be held in St. Maarten,” said Daal-Doño on Tuesday.

The island is the smallest country represented in the competition, but its presence is substantial. Daal-Doño has been representing St. Maarten at the World Salsa Open for the last 10 years in a row and is the only judge from the Caribbean besides Puerto Rico. Bearing in mind there are only 15 worldwide judges who rotate in the competition, it makes St. Maarten stand out.

After every final, judges’ results are analysed and scrutinised by the organisers. Judges who did exceptionally well are invited to the next year’s event. Due to Daal-Doño’s commitment and excellent performance, the organisation has already informed her that she will be invited to judge at next year’s event.

“Country St. Maarten also helped out by taking care of the cost of the airplane ticket to Panama. I really appreciate the support from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Clara Reyes and Arlene Halley from NIA. I am particularly thankful to Minister Jorien Wuite,” said Daal- Doño.

Source: The Daily Herald