Dance of triumph
Casper supports daughter with his passion
Imagine at nine years old for the first time being introduced to your mother.
How would you react? What would you tell her? What would you do? No, this wasn’t the storyline of a Lifetime movie. In fact, it was the life of Wade Casper Bascombe.
For him he had to deal with it like so many other challenges in his life. To him, though, meeting his mother was a sense of liberation and comfort after having edured both mental and physical abuse at the hands of his father for all his nine years.
Bascombe’s story began when as a baby he was moved from Barbados to the United States to live with his father. He recounted to Barbados TODAY that as early as he could remember he would be used as a punching bag. Sneeze too loudly – slap. Smile too broadly – slap. Breathe – slap. This he said happened relentlessly until one day he could take it no longer, and he snapped.
“I got tired of being abused; so I actually lashed out and I almost burned down the house,” he said.
In a hurry, his godfather packed himback to Barbados for his good; more so for his safety. And it was in August 1995 that he met his mother.
“. . . And I was so happy to see her. I hugged her and I never wanted to let her go,” he recounted.
But fitting into the island was not as easy as one would have thought. Though, he swore with a cheeky smile, that he wasn’t hard-ears, he admitted to being somewhat of a family clown; sometimes with a lot of restless energy with no avenue to direct this vigour.
After attending the St James Secondary School he returned to the United States for nearly two years but then decided to come back to Bim –– at 19.
Upon his return, he arrived to rumours running ripe that he had left Barbados and a child behind. But he was adamant this wasn’t true. However, he decided to investigate the origins of this talk. It was then, just as he had experienced almost a decade earlier with his mother, his beautiful baby girl Malyka was being introduced to her dad for the first time.
“I wasn’t a deadbeat dad. I didn’t even know I had a child [but] . . . from the first time I look at my daughter, I knew she was mine. I knew I had to step up to the plate and be there for her. Give her all the support and love I could –– the type of love that I was never shown how to give by my father. Every evening I would pick her up from the nursery, carry her to school, make sure that if I had $100, $98 goes to her and $2 for bus fare,” Bascombe said as he snickered.
Sitting alone one evening lovingly observing his daughter, Casper, as he had become known by this time, decided he had to look for a way to financially support her. Always talented at dancing, he resolved to enter a dance competition hosted by Hott 95.3FM to signal its launch in 1998.
Casper entered both competitions, the original Harlem Shake and the Heel And Toe. Though he could not remember how he placed, he was insistent that this was the start for him.
“That is how I found out I was flexible. One day I was dancing and this guy was throwing something at somebody else and I leaned all the way back and I was shocked. Since then I was using that [the crab back] as my trademark. Then gradually I started to learn my body a lot. In time I was breakdancing underground with [a group].”
He and that group then parted ways. One day as he was dancing at a beach jam at Folkstone Marine Park in St James, entertainer Peter Ram saw some of his moves. He invited him to perform with him at a Cavalcade, and, as they say, Casper “bus”.
“From there it started to escalate to another level because everybody would be telling me come and dance for them. I have a passion for dancing because I can’t help it, but at the end of it, I might be dancing, but these people need to realize that if you want stock for a barrel you have to pay for it.
“So when I tell a lot of people this is my price, they complain, [but] I have things to do, I have a child to support. Whenever I do a show you know where my money . . . everything I do is for Malyka; she is my heart,” the doting father said.
Bascombe said initially, when he began dancing his main goal was to make his daughter proud. Now, he told Barbados TODAY, he was also making himself and all his family proud and for that he was grateful.
He says he has achieved much more than he could have ever imagined and was looking forward to possibly one day establishing his own street dance company.
“I would watch the performers on the stages at the Reggae Festival and tell myself I will get to that stage one of these days. Four years on a stretch I have been on that stage.
“I am honestly happy with what I am doing. I love my daughter and this is supporting her and keeping me out of trouble,” he said.