Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten – Mrs. Paula Daal-Doño, took part in multiple dance events this year as a judge and MC. The most recent event was the NDCA Caribbean Dancesport Classic which was held at the El San Juan Hotel In Puerto Rico between October 30th and November 4th 2018.
Mrs Daal-Doño also represented Sint Maarten, once again, as a Judge for the 2018 world Salsa Open Final, which was held in Panama City in July 2018, and the first ever women Salsa competition in October 2018, which was held in Cayey Puerto Rico.
The World Salsa Open final is usually held in Puerto Rico, but due to damages from the devastating hurricane Maria, the organizers decided to hold it in Panama City this year.
Considering the damages from hurricane Irma to Sint Maarten, the organizers sponsored a hotel room with board for the Sint Maarten representative Paula Daal-Doño. This was a pleasant surprise for Paula, as judges that reach a certain status with the event organization would be able to receive this support. Paula has worked for over 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.
This year’s winner of the main event was a couple from Colombia. In view of the success of the open, organizers 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 its starting to grow rapidly, maybe someday it can held in Sint Maarten” Mrs. Daal-Doño notes. Sint Maarten is the smallest country represented in the competition, but its presence is substantial. Paula has been representing Sint 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 is only 15 worldwide judges that rotate in the competition, it makes Sint Maarten stand out.
After every final the Judges results are analyzed and scrutinized by the organization. Judges that did exceptionally well, get invited the next year’s event. Due to Paula’s commitment and excellent performance, the organization has already informed Paula that she would be invited to judge at next year’s event.
Country Sint Maarten also helped out by taking care of the costs 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” explained Paula Daal- Doño. “She believes that Sint Maarten has a lot of artistic talent and that we need to send our ambassadors out to the world to help promote Sint Maarten’s Orange Economy”.
And the hard work is starting to pay off. After the world Salsa Congress in July, Paula was asked to judge at the first ever Women’s World Salsa Competition in Cayey Puerto Rico in October and also invited to judge and MC at the NDCA Caribbean Dancesport event in November.
What makes the Caribbean Dance sport event special is that it’s a Ballroom Dance competition and that organizers paid all of Paula’s expenses to be part of this amazing event at the El San Juan Hotel.
Paula took part in multiple interviews during the events, these interviews are available on Youtube.
“The fact that organizers of a dance competition are paying for all your expenses means that another level has been reached. This is a great opportunity for Sint Maarten, as Salsa dancers from all over the world are starting to recognize the island’s name. This was not so ten years ago when I started judging at different events. All the big-time salsa dancers had no idea that there was an island called Sint Maarten. I’m so proud that after so many years of hard work, Sint Maarten is starting to become a “household name” in Salsa competitions. I hope to have the same success at the Ballroom Competition as the Salsa Competition. In the coming years I look forward to taking Sint Maartens name to new heights” Mrs. Daal-Doño concludes.