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Sep 2, 2022

Tumblers are a Perennial Feature in Carnival Road March

This week’s Bright Side took Sabreena Daly to the preparation of the 2022 Carnival Road March. After a two-year hiatus, the only people more excited than the loyal spectators, are the participants in the parade. And where the revelers have secured their fans, so have a crowd favorite, the tumblers. Sabreena visited one of their last training sessions at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting

Carnival fanatics would know that the excitement of the road march is not only because of the colors and energy of the revelers. One Key element of the parade is also the tumblers. They are the closing act of the road march and are considered fan favorites because of the daring flips, twists and turns they make mid-air. The Carnival acrobats have been around as far back as the seventies and this year, they are eager to showcase their latest act.


Ras Jen

Ras Jen, Tumblers Leader

“Everybody weh wa deh out deh, expect the tumblers cause we noh miss wa beat. From 2019, COVID neva did throw we off or nothing. We stay ready. Every year first thing we start to do da workout for Carnival. Every time them bally meet me it’s Ras Jen, when we wa start workout, Ras? They fi expect the same kind of excitement come carnival. We no lose no touch when it come to tumbling. Maybe I might lose my lee touch cause I mi deh da my height but now I deh down the mountain.”


Ras Jen is one of the founding members of the Carnival tumblers. After five decades of being in the spotlight, the retired gymnast is now using his energy to teach the younger generation the sport.


Ras Jen

“We teach. I would say seventy-five percent of the youth in my area would know how to do a little thing, but the other twenty-five don’t know how to do anything.  So, me and my bally, even if he noh deh round or if I noh deh round, we would teach them the bending, the basics about it. We supposed to practice from June, July, August for September, but some of them come July, some of them come August. Some of them come even a week or two before carnival. But why? Because they want uniform and they done know, we noh wa deny them regardless because we know putting on a tumblers uniform, you get your respect.”


Patrick Thompson

Patrick Thompson, President Carnival Association

“I can’t see a carnival without the tumblers. The tumblers have been in carnival from I know myself. You may say they are not an official group in carnival but I would say they are because they are in every year and just like how people look forward to see these revelers, they look to see the tumblers. Every year, the tumblers do have a spot in carnival. They always ask for the last spot because they want to do their thing and entertain the crowd just as the revelers.”


The love of the sport is innate describes emerging captain Glendford Dougall, son of tumbler stalwart John Dougall. He’ll be leading thirty plus kids from as young as seven years old and promises us a great show.


Glenford Dougall

Glenford Dougall, Tumblers Captain

“I love the sport because da wa inspiring sport. And once everybody see the sport, they would want to join it. I love the sport because I guess its in my blood. It’s my time to shine and show what my pa told me and bring it out. Most of the parade, I will be leading the group, but some parts, I will give them the opportunity to freestyle, be who they are and show the people their talent. We strategy and how we wa do it wa be kinda simple, no lotta hustle, no lotta hard formation, but how we put it out will give everybody a nice show.”


Looking on the bright side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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