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THE SPRING SHARINGS COME TO AN END
We had our last Spring Springs of the year yesterday at Friern Barnet Secondary School. Twelve shows took place in 12 different boroughs in London and Essex for the last three weeks. A total of 97 schools participated in the events, 113 groups performed and around 1,500 dancers hit the stage.
We've been really impressed with the standard of the pieces. The energy of the events has been incredible and it’s been amazing to watch young dancers perform alongside more experienced groups.
We would like to thank the school teachers, the Step into Dance teachers, audience members and the hosting schools for their involvement in the shows. Without them, the Spring Sharings wouldn't be such successful events.
Selected groups from the Spring Sharings will get an invite to the Step LIVE! auditions. This will be their chance to perform at our end-of-year show, and 10 year anniversary celebration, at Southbank Centre in The Clore Ballroom.
Relive the best moment of the Spring Sharings by checking out the pictures in our gallery!
The Spring Sharings are here!
The next three weeks will see the return of the Spring Sharings! Over 100 schools from the programme will perform across London, and showcase their hard work in front of fellow students, family, friends and VIPs. The performances will take place in eleven boroughs, starting in Westminster tomorrow and finishing in Barnet on Monday 8 May. Check out the dates and come along to support the dancers!
Company member Mollie performs her new solo at Honeycomb Dance Festival
We’re very proud of Mollie from the Contemporary and Jazz companies who represented Step into Dance yesterday at the newly-branded Honeycomb Dance Festival. She performed her new solo “Freedom is a State of Mind”, which she created for her Silver Arts Award during the February half-term project.
Run by Deborah Stevens, Honeycomb Dance Festival featured different groups from all over Buckinghamshire showcasing a host of dance styles. The purpose of the festival is to provide performing opportunities for all young dancers in a wonderful professional theatre setting. It was a great experience for all!
Essex groups shine at Springblast!
Essex came out in force yesterday to celebrate dance in the county at the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford. Over 300 dancers, aged 9 to 90, strutted their stuff on stage. The community rejoiced in the unifying power of dance. Step into Dance was represented by eight groups, totalling over 150 performers. A variety of genres were performed, there was something for everybody! This event was part of the partnership between Step into Dance and the Dance Network Association. You will be able to watch some of the Essex groups at Step LIVE! 2017 where the Jack Petchey Foundation and the Royal Academy of Dance will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Step into Dance, their partnership project.
A rewarding second day of training for our ambassadors
As part of their Bronze Arts Award, the ambassadors came back to the RAD on Sunday to continue their training.
The day started with a class from Blue. The veteran member from the street company gave the ambassadors tips on how to lead a dance workshop. They then worked on their front of house and hosting skills in preparation for our upcoming Spring Sharings. In the afternoon, the ambassadors joined in with the inclusive company rehearsal for a lively dance to break the ice. They finished the day with a lesson from Nathalie on how to review a dance show.
All ambassadors got given shiny new Step into Dance t-shirts which we hope they will wear proudly.
A productive weekend for our dancers
Last weekend was very busy for some! Dancers from various Step into Dance groups performed at two different events in London.
Under the direction of our teacher Ruth Mair Howard-Jones, three of our company members competed as a trio at the MOVE IT & Capezio Dance Championships. Ruth said they did a brillant job! You can check out the pictures of of their show here (all pictures by Drew Tommons/Virtuoso Imaging).
The U.Dance 2017 London Regional Platform at Trinity Laban also saw many of our dancers take it to the stage! Four of our youth company members performed as part of the Avant Garde Youth Company and our dance groups from Woolwich Polytechnic School also participated in the event. They made our teacher Roxy Bryant really proud!
If your Step into Dance group is performing at extra-curricular events, please contact us. We'd love to hear about your adventures!
Congratulations Trudy on your MBE!
We are delighted that Trudy Kilcullen, Chief Executive Officer of the Jack Petchey Foundation, received her MBE last Friday. She was recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list for services to Young People in London and Essex through Children's Organisations and for voluntary service. Trudy joined the Jack Petchey Foundation in 2008 and has since been a pillar in the organisation supporting numerous youth programmes, including Step into Dance.
We would like to congratulate her on this achievement and the much-deserved recognition of the work she does.
Step into Battle 2017 winners
On Saturday 14 January over 150 street dancers took over Stratford Circus for Step into Battle. This event was dedicated to street dance and included three competitions, four workshops and showcases from teachers and SEN school groups. The atmosphere was uplifting all throughout the day and it was great to see young battlers going against experienced dancers, some of whom had been competing at this event for the last four years. Highlights of the day included the showcase battle between the dancers from Haringey Sixth Form and the Step into Dance inclusive company.
A special mention goes to the competition winners:
- 2 on 2 Breaking Battle: Hendon School
- Breaking Crew Battle: Hendon School
- Mixed Crew Battle: Woolwich Polytechnic School
Individual prizes were also awarded to specific dancers:
- Best Dancer: Shantell from the Step into Dance Street Company
- Most Promising Dancer: Gabriel from Forest Hill School
- Best Move of the Day: Jasmine from Hendon School
You can view and download the pictures of the event in our gallery.
Step into Battle is almost here!
Step into Battle 2017 is around the corner and it's all set to go. We've had a record number of schools registered, trophies and prizes are ready and the judges, hosts and DJ are hype for it!
Our new patron Kenrick "H2O" Sandy has plenty of experience and gave some advice for the competitors, he says "As a Dancer, battles are a great way to grow and to learn about yourself. That leap of faith is scary, but once achieved, it brings confidence and motivation to another level. Share your skills against your peers on the dance floor and be a part of your community!"
This family-friendly event is open to all: spectators are encouraged to support their favorite crews, and can take part in open circles and free workshops. We look forward to welcoming you all at Stratford Circus on 14 January.
Kenrick “H2O” Sandy becomes patron of Step into Dance
We are happy and excited to announce Kenrick Sandy as a patron of Step into Dance. Born and raised in East London, Kenrick is one of the top choreographers and performers in the UK underground, commercial and theatrical scenes. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of Boy Blue Entertainment (Associate Artist at The Barbican Centre) and was awarded an MBE for his services to dance and the community in this year’s Honours list. His extensive credits include theatre, TV and film, both nationally and internationally. He notably choreographed the ‘Frankie and June say… thanks Tim’ section for London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, alongside director Danny Boyle.
Sue Goodman, Step into Dance programme and artistic director is very excited about this news. She says: “We feel very privileged to have Kenrick on board as our patron. His inspirational work with young people covering many street dance genres is something we hope to emulate. With Kenrick as role model and supporter, the sky is the limit!”
Watch Kenrick’s performance at Breakin’ Convention:
Some exciting news for our teacher Maria Ghoumrassi
Our teacher Maria Ghoumrassi has been very busy recently. Last week she performed for 2016 Turner Prize nominee in a new series of immersive shows named ‘The Magazine Sessions 2016: Anthea Hamilton’. She has also received funding from the Arts Council to develop her new project ‘A Tree Without Leaves’. The dance piece will include other art forms (such as text, film, music and photography) and will address the themes of female infertility and identity. Maria will also run movement-based workshops for a local infertility group to promote mental well-being, increase self-esteem and reduce their sense of isolation, anxiety and stress.
Maria is one of our long-standing teachers and has taught on our programme since its inception. We're very proud of her accomplishements and we wish her the best of luck for her upcoming projects.
The end of Step Together... In pictures!
Our Step Together sessions are coming to an end and we’re really happy with the way the project has unfolded. The ten one-off classes have been a great way to encourage our teachers and schools to work inclusively. We’ve brought together 300 students from mainstream and special educational needs schools to dance and explore their creativity. We believe these workshops really reflect what Step into Dance is about: using the art form so that young dancers meet different people, share a unique experience and learn from each other.
Our lovely photographer, Foteini Christofilopoulou, attended our latest Step Together yesterday at Greenvale School with St Matthew Academy. As you can see in the picture gallery, the participants as well as the dance teachers (and Sue!) really enjoyed the session. We’d like to thank both teachers at Greenvale School and St Matthew Academy for being so supportive of the programme.
The last two Step Together for this year will be held next week. The sessions will be back in the 2017 Autumn term.
Coloma Convent School dancers perform their debut at the Royal Albert Hall
The Step into Dance group from Coloma Convent School performed their debut yesterday at the Music For Youth proms in the Royal Albert Hall. The pupils danced to the music of the Coloma Trust Mass Ensemble, a choir involving 200 pupils. The singers performed the work written by award-winning composer Howard Goodall called The Pearl.
The Music For Youth proms is a prestigious event which include some of the best young musicians in the country. Congratulations to the Coloma dancers and their Step into Dance teacher Faye Rettie for such an accomplishment! We look forward to seeing the group perform another piece at the 2017 Spring Sharings.
Spring Sharings 2017 - dates and venues announced!
We are happy to announce the Spring Sharings will be back in April and May 2017! These events are hosted by schools on the programme and are a great chance for our dancers to share what they've been working on with friends and family. All the schools on our programme can now register their group to one of the below events:
- Thursday 20 April - The Grey Coat Hospital (Westminster)
- Friday 21 April - Burntwood School (Wandsworth)
- Monday 24 April - Ravens Wood School (Bromley)
- Tuesday 25 April - Queens Park Community School (Brent)
- Wednesday 26 April - St Angela’s Ursuline School (Newham)
- Thursday 27 April - Acland Burghley School (Camden)
- Tuesday 2 May - Bacon’s College (Southwark)
- Wednesday 3 May - The Quest Academy (Croydon)
- Thursday 4 May - Park View School (Haringey)
- Friday 5 May - St Paul’s Academy (Greenwich)
- Monday 8 May - Friern Barnet Secondary School (Barnet)
The standard of the Spring Sharings gets better very year and we really look forward to seeing what our teachers and their dancers have been working on!
A brillant start to our Step Together workshops
Our Step Together season went off to a flying start yesterday with a great first workshop. The session gathered two schools from South London: Woodcote High School and Carshalton High School for Girls. Both groups quickly got into the swing of things and worked very productively. The sharing at the end of the class was a great success and we hope both parties enjoyed working together and learnt a lot from the experience.
The session was the first one out of a series of 10 dance workshops, which will bring together 19 London schools, involving over 300 students. The free workshops gather two neighbouring schools on the programme, to work on a specific theme or project in any style, including contemporary dance, inclusive dance (bringing together a mainstream and SEN school), capoeira, street and jazz dance.
The Inclusive Company receives grant from Capital Group
The Step into Dance Inclusive Company has secured a £9,000 grant from investment firm Capital Group. The funds will provide continued support to the dance company’s training and development but will also enable them to commission an original dance piece to be performed at the Royal Festival Hall at its 10th anniversary celebration on Monday 17 July 2017.
Melanie Murphy, RAD Director of Communications & Marketing was delighted at the news and said, “The Inclusive Company is such a worthwhile element of the wider programme and it is great that it is attracting this level of support.”
Step into Dance has a passionate commitment to including young people with Special Educational Needs across all aspects of the programme and Capital Group has generously been supporting this strand of work since 2013. Last year, part of their contribution went towards making this documentary about the company and their journey to Step LIVE! 2016.
The contribution comes in addition to the £580,000 grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation. The Jack Petchey Foundation and the Royal Academy of Dance have worked in partnership to develop and deliver Step into Dance since its creation in 2007.
Zach to perform in Jérôme Bel’s Gala at Sadler's Wells!
Huge congratulations to 17-year old Step into Dance Inclusive Company member Zach for being part of Jérôme Bel’s latest project: Gala. Gala is a captivating showcase of dance featuring 20 Londoners from various ages, backgrounds and abilities. Zach already performed the piece at Tate Modern on 15 October and will perform it again at Sadler’s Wells as part of Dance Umbrella on 18 and 19 October. Zach, who has cerebral palsy, has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of dancing for Jérôme Bel, performing group pieces as well as a solo on and off a wheelchair. He says the world-renowned French choreographer has really pushed him to be the best dancer he can be. This is Zach's first professional contract and we are very proud of him!
The 2017 Spring Sharings will be back in April and May!
We are currently finalising the last details of the 2017 Spring Sharings. The events will be a great way for our dancers to demonstrate what they've worked on this year and the shows will act as the first stage of the audition process to our 10th anniversary celebration: Step LIVE! 2017. The standard of dancing increases every year and the 2017 editions should be even more impressive! We will post more information about dates and venues as soon as they're all confirmed. In the meantime you can catch up with the pictures from last year in our gallery.
Stratford Circus is ready to welcome Step into Battle
We had our first meeting at Stratford Circus yesterday and all is set for our day of street dance, Step into Battle, on 14 January 2017. The studio for the workshops is looking very spacious and the theatre will be an amazing space for the battles and the circles! Last year we were really impressed with the overall standard and we now hope that all the street dance groups are training hard for the upcoming edition. As we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year, we've got some exciting surprises in the pipeline including special guest performances. All will be revealed soon!
Our Youth Dance Companies are off to a flying start!
Our Youth Dance Companies have only been rehearsing on 3 occasions this year and they're already showing great potential! Here is a short clip of our jazz company reviving an old piece that was performed at Step LIVE! 2014. An updated and improved version will be shown at Step LIVE! 2017, our 10 year anniversary celebration held at the Southbank Centre. The piece should look amazing then!
Our youth dance companies' auditions are coming up!
The auditions to join our youth companies are this Sunday and we can't wait to see what the dancers bring to the table! 2017 will be a very exciting year to be part of our youth companies as it will mark our 10 year anniversary! It promises to be full of high-quality training and exciting projects that will culminate with performances at Step LIVE! at the Royal Festival Hall stage in the Southbank Centre on 17 July 2017.
If you wish to join our youth companies, you only have one day left to send us your application form.
Teacher Training Week
It’s back to school for everyone at Step into Dance. This week, our new and veteran teachers are invited to the Royal Academy of Dance headquarters to attend our yearly teacher training week. All participants have the opportunity to take free workshops to gain inspiration and develop their professional skills. The classes include encouraging creativity in class, practice in Special Educational Needs schools, behaviour management, effective year planning and more. The week will end with our anticipated mixed styles battle on Friday!
Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter for photos and videos of the week!
Step into Dance is on Wikipedia
We are proud to announce that Step into Dance now has its own page on the popular online encyclopedia: Wikipedia. Check out the article for a brief history and presentation of our organisation. We hope the page will keep on growing as the programme expands.
A pleasure to see Step into Dance teachers at the RAD Summer Schools
The Royal Academy of Dance Summer School classes are in full swing, with hundreds of students participating from all over the world. The Summer Schools last for three weeks and focus on a range of dance styles, including jazz, contemporary and ballet. We’re delighted that some of the Step into Dance teachers have been invited to teach this year, among them Nina and Sonny (pictured). We hope they enjoy their Summer School classes, they sure look like a lot of fun.
Step into Dance featured in award winning film!
We are delighted that the Royal Academy of Dance Patron's Organisations in Focus film has won an Videographer Award. The film focuses on Step into Dance and features our Youth Companies and also the Step into Dance students from Townley Grammar School for Girls. The film is beautifully put together by Amelie Exton and Georgina Rees.You can watch the whole film here.
A successful teacher audition week!
As new schools are joining the programme, we have been auditioning new dancers to join our pool of teachers. Sue and Miranda have been really impressed with the general standard and loved the broad range of styles available: from contemporary to Afrobeat, breakin' and house. The successful candidates will be contacted soon and will start their new classes for the 2016/17 academic year.
We look forward to welcoming new faces to the Step into Dance family!
Step LIVE! is fast approaching. Only two days left!
The final countdown to Step LIVE! has begun! After months of preparation we can't believe our end-of-year show is just around the corner. The 14 selected schools groups and our four youth companies will blow your mind with amazing performances. They have worked very hard and have undoubtedly earned the privilege to perform on such a prestigious stage.
Remember the event will kick off at 5pm with workshops, shows and entertainment in the Sadler's Wells foyer. The main show starts at 7pm. Book your tickets now before the event sells out!
Sadler's Wells ready to welcome Step LIVE!
We had our final meeting at Sadler's Wells Theatre yesterday and we can reveal that all is set for Step LIVE! Backstage preparations have been completed and the foyer activities are looking exciting! All the dance groups are looking forward to performing on such a prestigious stage and spectators are in for a treat! Everyone at Sadler's Wells Theatre is ready to welcome an evening of thrilling youth dance! Book your tickets now before it's too late!
Foyer entertainment at Step LIVE! 2016
Last week we announced the line-up for Step LIVE! and the evening promises to be amazing. But Step LIVE! is not your average dance show, we make a point of involving audience members in our freestyle circle! We will have some great surprises this year in the Sadler's Wells foyer from 5pm. Expect to catch Step into Dance teachers, school groups and fun workshops in the mezzanine. You might also bump into Molly Orange, who will be floating around the space with their comedy dance pop up!
Step LIVE! auditions update!
What a week we're having! We're right in the middle of the Step LIVE! auditions and we're loving it. All the selected dance groups have put a lot of effort into their pieces which makes the whole process really tough: the final decision will be hard to take! We feel very excited about the level and enthusiasm of the dancers and we can't wait for you to witness their hard work at Step LIVE!
Well done to Gavin and Milo for performing on Britain's Got Talent!
After excellent runs at the quarter-finals, this is the end of the Britain's Got Talent adventure for our Step into Dance teacher Gavin Vincent and for our ex-company member Milo Aylward. Both dancers performed with different groups at the semi-finals of the national TV competition. In spite of positive feedback from the judges and original concepts, they didn't reach the final stage of the talent show.
We are very proud of them both! You can watch Gavin's performance here and Milo's piece here.
Step into Dance is looking for new teachers!
We are currently recruiting teachers specialising in African dance, bollywood, cheerleading, contemporary dance, inclusive dance, jazz, musical theatre, and all street dance styles.
If you are passionate about teaching, available in London or Essex and interested in developing your professional practice, this is the perfect opportunity for you!
All the information can be found on our job page.
Our teacher on Britain's Got Talent!
You might have heard that one of the highly skilled Step into Dance teachers has been on TV recently. Gavin Vincent, who has taught breakin’ for us for 5 years, has been featured on Britain’s Got Talent and has got through to the semi-finals of the competition. He is performing as a dancer for Flying Bebop, mixing breakin’ and drones. If you’ve missed it, you can watch his performance here.
Although Gavin got off to a flying start, we wish him the very best for the next stage of the competition!
The Spring Sharings come to an end
After three weeks of Spring Sharings in 13 boroughs in London and Essex, we counted a total of 98 schools participating, 129 groups performing and almost 1,500 dancers hitting the stage. The energy and commitment of all the dancers involved was incredible! We would like to thank the school teachers, the Step into Dance teachers, the audience and the hosting schools without whom the Spring Sharings wouldn't be such successful platforms.
Selected groups from the Spring Sharings will get an invite to the Step LIVE! auditions soon. This will be their chance to perform at our end-of-year show at Sadler's Wells on 9 July in front of thousands of people.
You can view all our pictures and short videos of all the Spring Sharings in our gallery!
Only three Spring Sharings left!
After eight amazing Spring Sharings, the Step into Dance participants only have three events to show us what they've got! We've been really impressed with the standard of the dancing. Years after years, the pieces get better and better! We hope the dance groups performing at our next three events will bring their A-game and keep up the high standard! The dates and places of our three remaining Spring Sharings are here and you can view pictures and videos from our past events in our gallery!
We're halfway through our Spring Sharings!
We have been overwhelmed by the high standard of work and the commitment of our teachers, reps and dancers. Hooray for Step into Dance! Check all the pictures from our 2016 Spring Sharings here!
Spring Sharings 2016
Our 2016 Spring Sharings are well under way and so far the work has been of an extremely high standard. Our teachers have worked hard and are really showing their students off to advantage. We are so proud of them all! You can view all the pictures from the events in our gallery!
Step into Dance features in the Patron’s Lunch video
Sue Goodman, our Programme and Artistic Director has been featured in the Patron’s Heroes series. The video is part of the celebrations around The Patron’s Lunch, held in London on 12 June. We love the video as it reflects our philosophy perfectly. We are proud to be part of the Royal Academy of Dance and to have Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as our Patron.
We hope you’ll like the video too!
A tribute to Step into Dance teachers
Sue Goodman (Step into Dance Programme and Artistic Director) wrote an article as part of my Dance, the new campaign from the Royal Academy of Dance. Her words reinforce the idea that the Step into Dance teachers are a great asset to the programme. We’re very grateful that so many brilliant dancers have been working with us for the past nine years. Without them, Step into Dance wouldn’t be where it is today! You can read the full article on page 14 of the my Dance brochure.
Step into Dance features in the new RAD campaign: myDance
The Royal Academy of Dance has produced a great campaign called my Dance. We're proud and honoured to be part of this exciting new project. The brochure includes an interview of Sue Goodman, our Programme and Artistic Director as well as pictures and quotes from Jamie from the Street Company and Caseley from the Inclusive Company. Dancers from Contemporary and Street Companies are also featured in the myDance video along with Step into Dance teacher Mahdi. You too can get involved by sharing your #myDance story on social media.
Performances at Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award
On 8th and 10th March 2016 at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford (Essex), Mollie, Jade and Ryan from our Contemporary Dance Company got the privilege to perform at the Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award.
Mollie and Jade performed a duet they had devised during the half term choreography development sessions led by our Programme & Artistic Director Sue Goodman. Their short piece entitled 'I’m Still Breathing' explores the value of friendship, especially during difficult times.
Ryan and Sophia, who both attend the Lambeth Academy, performed a duet entitled 'Siblings'. Choreographed by Step into Dance teacher Kevin Young, the piece reflects upon the complex relationship between a brother and a sister.
Sir Jack Petchey receives knighthood
What better way to begin the New Year than with the news that Jack Petchey has received a knighthood. We are delighted that Jack has been recognised in this way and we are incredibly proud of him and of the Jack Petchey Foundation. Jack’s story is an inspiration to us at Step into Dance and to our students and teachers. If you think you can, you can!
The Jack Petchey Foundation has contributed over £100m to programmes and incentives for young people, including the Step into Dance programme. Sir Jack has year after year funded the high-quality, inclusive, extra-curricular dance classes that we deliver to 200 mainstream and SEN schools in London and Essex. The Foundation also supports such programmes as Anthony Nolan, raising awareness of blood cancer, and the Speak Out Challenge, the largest public speaking competition for young people in the world.
We would like to congratulate Sir Jack on this achievement and the much-deserved recognition of the work he does to raise the aspirations of thousands of young people every year, 30,000 of which have taken part in the Step into Dance programme since its creation in 2007.
Photo: Mark Lees
The end of 2015 is nigh and what a year it has been! We have had some great events with over 2,000 dancers taking part. In this academic year alone we have had five spectacular Step Togethers, involving eleven schools. Twelve crews took part in Step into Battle and we had a sold out audience for the Youth Companies' Christmas Sharing.
We are now winding down for the holidays and our office will be closed from 6pm on Monday 21 December until 9am on Monday 4 January.
We have much to look forward to next term so make sure you have downloaded our year plan so that you can get ahead of the game with our 2016 dates.
From all at Step into Dance we wish you a happy holiday, a terrific start to the new year and we will see you in 2016 for even more fun!
Welcome to our new website! We’re still the same Step into Dance on the inside but we’ve had a makeover to bring us up to date with how the programme has evolved over the years.
You’ll notice a lot more photos and videos on the site now, and it’s much easier for you to share these with your own friends or colleagues through Twitter and Facebook. We’re also linked up to Instagram so be sure to tag @stepintodance or use the hashtag #stepintodance and your photo could be featured on our home page.
We hope you’ll find our new website clear and easy to use and enjoy exploring the photos and videos in our Gallery, looking at our list of amazing teachers, or seeing what schools in your area are also on the programme. So dive in, have a look around and let us know what you think on Twitter, Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Foteini Christofilopoulou