Verna Walcott-White a.k.a Teacher Verna, Ms. Verna or Ms. V is versatile, creative and is truly proficient in her field. She is passionate about her profession (dance). She began dancing at the tender age of three, under numerous famous Guyanese and International Instructors and Guru. Ms. Verna joined the Guyana School of Dance as a teenager, from its inception, under the tutelage of its founder and Director, Lavina Williams famous Haitian/American Dancer/Choreographer/Director. Ms. Verna was chosen to be a Member of the Guyana National Dance Company as a founder member, under the Directorship of Geraldo Lastra, prominent Choreographer/ Director/ Dancer of Cuba. Edwardo Riviera, renowned Cuban Choreographer, and Orestes Meheijca also of Cuba, renowned Guyanese Guru the late Philip McClintock and Doris Harper Wills were some of her professors…to name a few. Ms. Verna was also an Instructor in the Guyana National School of Dance. She also choreographed for the Guyana National Dance Company and her work was shown around the world on the Company’s tour.
Ms. Verna’s wealth of experience was gained from her many regional and international performances and workshops in several of the following countries: In Jamaica where she studied dance at the Jamaica School of Dance in the West Indies and Duke University, USA, performances and workshops in Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Surinam and Cuba, some multiple times (2-6 times), just to name a few. She worked as an Instructor/Dancer for several years at Once Upon A Time Dance Studio and Adele’s Creative Learning Center, both in Queens New York. In 2017 and 2018 hosted and directed Impressions Dance Theatre’s Summer Camp which included Academics, Arts and Craft, Dance, Drama, and Music, they culminated with fantastic closing presentations.
Throughout her life, Ms. Verna has created hundreds of choreographies depicting the different dance idioms e.g. Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz, African/Afro Caribbean, Praise and Indian Classical. For Elected Officials, Guyana Cultural Association, Guyana Tri-State Alliance, Ms. Guyana Pageant, Ms. Guyana Airways Cooperation Pageant, Ms. Guyana Connecticut Scholarship Pageant, Co-Produced/ Directed / Choreographed the first Ms. Tropical Paradise Swimwear Pageant, Barbados Alumni Association, as well as several Organizations, Churches and Community events.
Ms. Verna also added drama to her Artistic resume, in her appearance in Francis Farrier’s play, “Freedom Trail” as Zoody 2007 and “What You Don’t Know Can Kill You”, as Ms. Lorenzo in 2008 and “Minty Alley”, as Ella in 2011, all directed by the late Maurice Braithwaite and for the summer of 2018 she directed a play Mufara’s Beautiful Daughters.
Ms. Verna is the proud recipient of several Awards (Citations and Proclamations) for Community work in Dance (2003 to present) from Councilwoman Yvette Clarke, Senator John Sampson, Council Member Mathieu Eugene, Guyana Cultural Association, Guyana Day Inc., Councilman Leroy Comrie, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall (2013) and Queens Brough President Melinda Katz (2014 & 2018). On May 9, 2015 she received the Extraordinary Woman’s Award for women who have made extraordinary accomplishments and achievements in the Queens community, through renowned Vissi Dance Theatre also on Friday, June 26, 2015, Ms. Verna received the Golden Arrowhead Award of Distinction at Brooklyn Borough Hall, in recognition of years of service and mentorship to Community by The Guyana Missions, Consulates and the Guyana Tri-State Alliance Inc. also recently in June 2018, Ms. Verna received Awards from Senator Leroy Comrie and Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi.
Ms. Verna’s goals and objectives are simple and work towards achieving the following: (1) …To motivate and enrich the lives of children, by promoting skills that enhance the multicultural and creative dance. (2) …To provide services to the community, which will enable children to enjoy a positive learning experience and build their self-esteem through the discipline of dance. Her belief is that if there are children who dream dance and there are parents who believe in their children’s dreams, together we will make all their hopes and aspirations a reality.
Ms. Verna is the Founder, President, and CEO of Impressions Dance Theatre Inc. based in Queens, New York from 1999 to present, this year she celebrated her 15th Annual Dance Recital. Impressions are also the proud recipient of numerous Awards/Citations/ and Proclamations. Currently, Ms. Verna is a Dance Consultant at a few schools in Queens, New York, for sixteen years, where she Choreographs, Produces and Directs Performances, for various events at these schools.
Although Ms. Verna maintains a full schedule, she still finds time to serve as a Special Event Assistant of H.E.R.O.C. (Health and Education Relief Organization for Cancer Inc.), she also is a Member of Guyana Cultural Association where she serves as co-chair for Kwe Kwe and for the Awards Committee. Ms. Verna still finds time for her family, relatives, and friends. She is the proud mother of three and grandmother of fourteen.