NSB represent the East Midlands at the National Youth Dance Festival 2017
U.Dance is the Nation’s Youth Dance Festival which celebrates the quality and vibrancy of young people’s dance across our nation.
To be selected for the event, youth dance groups from across the UK and Ireland have to apply to perform at local dance platforms. If selected, they move through to the next level platform for an opportunity to be offered the opportunity to showcase their work at U.Dance.
NSB entered seven Year 10 GCSE students and the boys danced their piece ‘To Jimmy’, which they created with me by coming in to school on a number of Saturdays. Getting through each round of the selection stages was an exciting experience and to be finally chosen to represent the East Midlands at the National Festival, out of more than 80 groups, was an honour.
In total, 23 companies were selected to perform at the festival through this process, with invited groups such as the National Youth Dance Companies of England, Scotland and Wales. This brought together approximately 350 young dancers from across the UK to present three performances at the Birmingham Hippodrome. The young dancers also had two days of workshops and classes with nationally renowned artists, careers talks and an opportunity to network with other dance groups from around the UK.
The boys who represented NSB are:
NSB performed on the Friday evening and danced to perfection. They went out on the stage and gave it their all to communicate their dance idea and had wonderful feedback from the audience and dance artists at the festival. This has led to a new project where boys have been invited to work with Impact Dance in the summer, creating a Hip Hop version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ which will culminate in a performance at Zoo Nation’s ‘The Next Generation’ production at the Southbank Centre in London. The boys also got to meet with Richard Alston, with whom, some NSB students are working with this summer to create a curtain raiser performance at the Royal and Derngate this October.
Lifelong friendships were made and the boys had the opportunity to experience dance styles that pushed them out of their comfort zones and opened their eyes to new and innovative ways of working. It was a fantastic experience, which was further enhanced by the support of the boys’ parents and family, Miss Hasan, Jude, staff from Dance4 and Mr Bernard being there at the Hippodrome to support them on their performance evening.
To quote Mr Bernard, ‘Brilliant, best of the night and the loudest cheer’.
Thank you to everyone who supported the boys on their journey to the Nationals and to Miss Wilcox for her invaluable support on the trip. I documented the journey on Twitter and photographs and videos of the weekend can be found @NSBExpArts.
Learning Leader for Dance