; Women in History: Helen Taitt – An Accomplished Choreographer and Professional Dancer | Guyanese Girls Rock!
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Women in History: Helen Taitt – An Accomplished Choreographer and Professional Dancer

Helen Taitt was the founder and director of the School of Guyana Ballet, which trained many of the teachers with the Guyana National School of Dance. Her dancing career spanned two decades from the 1950s to 1970s.

Helen made the theatre her life-long career, performing, composing and teaching right up to the end of her life. She was Guyana’s best known, most accomplished and acclaimed professional dancer, and was also a choreographer, writer, dance instructor, and a specialist in ballet.

Helen Taitt

Helen’s many productions inspired talented dancers and choreographers to new heights, especially her Song of Guyana, based on A.J. Seymour’s poem about the American Indian legend Amalica. Subsequently, Taitt established the National School of Dance in Dominica. Back in Guyana, she became director of the Taitt Dance Theatre.

Broadway Playbill Program from 1952 naming Helen Taitt as a Dancer

Broadway program feature Guyanese Dancer Helen Taitt

Her autobiography “My Life My Country” covers decades of her experiences travelling and working in the USA, Europe and the Caribbean, ending when she eventually returns with the intention of resettling in Guyana just after October 1992.  She first left home for training in social work at university in Jamaica, then again to study dance at Balanchine’s School of American Ballet in New York, and later to pursue her career further afield.  Among the schools, studios and companies she set up were the Berlin Art Circle, the Barbados Art Circle and the Taitt Dance Theatre.

Helen Taitt’s life story is that of one who persevered, realizing her determination to be a professional dancer and pursuing a long career in Germany (mainly), the USA, France, Holland, Switzerland, Dominica, St Lucia, Barbados and Guyana.

SOURCE: World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre

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