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for dancers by dancers








BALLET Issue 1 May 2010

If you would like to advertise with On Pointe please contact us at: email: phone: 0208 133 1287 Follow us on: OnPointeMag On Pointe Magazine Do you have any suggestions on things you would like to see in On Pointe Magazine? Let us know on

Ground Floor Media, 14 Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6AX

Editor: Daniel Keating Features Editor: Ana Little Fashion Editor: Jemma Sawyer Designer: Richard Pennington

Welcome to On Pointe.



Page 4-6 Jonzi D speaks

Page 7-8 Back to Ballet. The

Page 12-14 Ashley Banjo

Page 18-19 Pro Dancer of the month: Teneisha Bonner speaks about life as a dancer.

about his past, present and future Breakin Conventions.

talks about the Diversity journey and his new found celebrity status.

Page 16-17 StreetDance

The Movie 3D review.

history and benefits.

Page 25-26 Up and coming

choreographer: James Wilton is introduced as the one to watch out for.



Page 20-21 80’s, 90’s and 00’s trainer fashion and iconic must have sneakers.

Page 27 North, South, East

Page 22 Sneakers Corner.


This seasons trends and On The Street Dancers.

Page 23 Sneaker Gallery.

and West. Find a local youth group in your area.

Page 10-11 Pre-vocational training with CAT Scheme. Introducing new MA courses at Arts Ed.


Page 28-29 Sound Moves, Blaze and b.supreme. WHATS ON

Page 31 Check out our event calendar for must see’s in May.

Page 31 On Pointe previews: Bounce: Insane in the Brain and the Rambert Dance Company.


Page 30 Agents Area and Teacher of the Month.

NEXT MONTH Adam Garcia, Kate Prince of ZooNation, BirdGang, Gareth Walker, History of Breakin and much more...

As dancers we felt there was something missing for US! We wanted to do something about it - so On Pointe was born. Our focus is about a dancers lifestyle, everything that means something to a dancer, things we are all interested in, things we are passionate about and things that we need more information on. We hope this is what we are achieving and if we are missing anything, you need to tell us! From featured interviews to event reviews, fashion to training, dancers to watch out for and pro’s giving you tips and information about the industry! Each month we will be speaking to “The Faces” of the dance community, from TV, Film and Theatre, people that innovate and push the boundaries of the dance world, as well as the people that will be pushing the future of dance. Are you in your teens, thinking of a career in dance? We hope to help, by giving you month by month information from choosing pre-vocational training to the best vocational College and University training, including grants, local authority schemes, accommodation and course selection. Managing your self as a dancer; self employed, running a dance company, tax issues, accountants, running a small business, Government help - we will give you information about it all in an interesting and factual way that we all understand. Now we all know that fashion is key to every dancer, and we all have a vain side no matter how hard we try to hide it! We will cover trends, what dancers are wearing, brands to watch out for and what’s hot for this season. This is going to be a big part of On Pointe so be prepared for your fashion fix every month! As added extras we will have reviews on products, shows, classes, studios and guest articles and blogs from people in the dance world. Plus some mind blowing competitions! It’s massively important for you to tell us what you want to see and read about, so please drop us your ideas via email on:




Now in its 7th year, Breakin’ Convention has established itself as one of the worlds leading showcases of Hip Hop dance and theatre. The positive and articulate man behind the event Jonzi D; speaks to us about past, present and future Breakin’ Conventions, his own Jonzi D production company and the innovative projects he is involved in.

BC FACTS EVENT Breakin Convention VENUE Sadlers Wells BORN 2004 REACH 54,900 people 2,600 performers 74 International companies TOURS UK Tour began 07 2009 Expanded to 8 UK venues MUST SEE 2010: HILTY AND BOSCH MR STEEN - BIG CITY BRAINS PRO - PHENOMEN RENEGADE THEATRE BABSON-BLUE



Since the early eighties Jonzi D has been actively involved in the UK Hip Hop culture. With a background in dance after graduating from the London Contemporary Dance School and a passion for theatre, it was a natural progression to combine the two passions with a culture that at the time, was unheard of in theatre. With his commitment to developing Hip Hop theatre, he created Lyrikal Fearta in 1995 that toured until 2001. With Jonzi’s creativeness using all aspects of Hip Hop culture, dance and theatre, his passion and drive has taken him on a journey throughout Europe, North America, New Zealand, South Africa and Cuba, performing his pieces to audiences across the world. Jonzi’s credentials speak volumes, working with artists such as The Roots, Gangstarr, Steve Williamson, MC Mell ‘O’ and appearances on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and Channel 4’s Faking It. From his Theatre shows Lyrikal Fearta and Markus the Sadist to his short films, Silence da bitchin and Aeroplane Man (both screened on Channel 4) - this MC, poet, dancer, director, event organizer and host, represents UK Hip Hop culture to it’s fullest. In 2007 Jonzi was publicly recognized by the MOBO’s and listed as one of the top 10 positive black musical role models. Jonzi D Productions is an Associate Company of Sadler’s Wells, which is also home to the massively successful Breakin’ Convention. The International festival of Hip Hop dance theatre has, since its inception in 2004, showcased 196 UK

companies, 74 International companies, and a total of over 2600 performers to audiences in excess of 54,900. The line up for 2010 includes dancers from Japan, the USA, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France and one of the strongest UK lineups the festival has ever seen. Due to the success of the event, Breakin’ Convention launched a UK tour in 2007 and in 2009 expanded to include visits to 8 UK venues including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Plymouth and Salford. On Pointe spoke to the man behind it all: You are renowned for your commitment to developing Hip Hop Theatre, but what was it that you originally saw in that lifestyle that others were missing? `How comes I saw the Pony and everyone else missed it?’ I don’t know is the really honest truth. For me, I trained in contemporary dance at school because there was no drama, ultimately I wanted to act and become an actor. When I discovered Hip Hop and Hip Hop culture I realized it was brilliant, exciting and related to my community and me really well. The reason I felt I had to do both things was because I had to find balance in my own life. I loved theatre and Hip Hop, but Hip Hop alone I felt was one dimensional and contemporary was boring and up its own arse to be honest with you. So for me it was a sense of freedom I achieved when doing both together. CONTINUED >




How are the Hip Hop Theatre Labs you provide developing and benefitting established and professional artists? The Theatre Labs have been running for about 3 years now, in the past 2 years it has moved forward leaps and bounds, due to marketing and the venues we are now using. The most successful ones we have done were at Burnley Grant Art Centre and Hove Theatre but recently the very best one has been at The Albany in Deptford. The Theatre works shops are geared towards professional artists.

Hip Hop Theatre encompasses more than just the dance element and draws on the music (DJing/Emceeing) to create a full performance. Would you say that one is more important than the other? I find it difficult to decide whether one element is more important than the other, I think they are equally as important as in any culture. What gave you the inspiration to develop the very first Breakin’ Convention? I made a Hip Hop Theatre show called ‘Lyrikal Fearta’ in 1995 and subsequently toured around the world up until 2001. As a result of this touring I realized that the Hip Hop Theatre culture was alive and kicking in places like Holland, France and America, but I felt really lonely touring in the UK. When I realized we needed to make a festival out of this I justified why because I’m not doing this on my own or in a vacuum, I’m part of an extended community of artists that see Hip Hop as being the next development of Theatre. Who should we be looking out for at this years Breakin’ Convention? There are a couple of pieces. Hilty and Bosch from Japan, this is the first time they have performed in the UK and we are all very excited about this. There is also a solo that is choreographed by an artist called Babson from Wanted Posse. His choreography is about a woman, the piece is called Blue and its an amazing character study done through dance – I’m really excited about that. Mr Steen is back with Big City Brains, which I think is really exciting with their popping styles and Pro-Phenomen from France, they won Dance Delight in 2009 and have a really nice fusion of new skool and breaking. Last but not least is a piece by Renegade Theatre, the choreographer used to dance with Pina Bausch so that is going to be very interesting for the contemporary dance fraternity. How did the name Breakin’ Convention come about? I wanted the ambiguity of people thinking it was a breakdancing convention but actually we are trying to “Break the Convention” of Theatre. Was your vision for Breakin’ Convention to always be an International Event? It was always going to be an International Event that was influenced by my travels with Lyrikal Fearta. It was also to show the UK Hip Hop community what was going on in other countries. I think something that we do in the UK is develop and change music genres, there’s a new music genre every 3 months. For me I wanted to show 06

the people that Hip Hop wasn’t dead and wanted to show the International development of Hip Hop culture. Also to show the UK that we’re a little bit behind and we need to step up our game.

How comes I saw the Pony and everyone else missed it?

Do you feel that each country brings its own dance style, interpretation and fashion to Breakin’ Convention? Absolutely, absolutely! The French have a very experienced and theatrical application to their Hip Hop and also a sense of humor that is unique to the French. The Koreans definitely have pushed the technical elements of breaking to super high levels and the Japanese have got popping and locking, excuse the pun, “locked down”. I think all over the world you can see examples of styles that have developed in that region. To add to that, the UK have their own idiosyncratic style that people see and say “Yeah we like it, we’ve never seen it done quite like that before but we like it”. Breakin Convention: 1st - 3rd May

Has The Surgery produced any work that has gone on to be developed further? Yes, the full name is Open Art Surgery. It’s a way of presenting and developing theatre to an audience that can respond to the work they are seeing on stage. In our first year of doing the Surgery we worked with an artist called Sean Graham and developed a piece called Busking Boy that toured. This year we would like to develop some work with the South African artists that we are hoping to tour. I think we are helping develop people’s skills, a lot of spoken word artists are incorporating dance, which is very interesting. Do you have any other projects we need to know about? The show Marcus the Sadist, you have to know about this! The show has been in development for the past year and a half. It has a cast of 8 people and its all rap, and every lyric is rhymed. It tells a story of a young rapper and his experience within the music industry, the way in which the guy becomes a stereotypical American gangster just because it sells more units. It’s staring Bashy and for me, it’s the best show I’ve made. It’s going to be at the Bloomsbury Theatre from the 17th to 20th May.

TO THE POINTE What 3 things do you have in your pocket? Nothing I’m naked sitting on the toilet Best breakin move: Footwork Favorite poet: Saul Williams Last book you read: The Alchemist What song has been in your head all day? MN…food by MF Doom What’s next for Jonzi D productions and Breakin Convention? Fundraising. Dancer to watch out for: Birdgang The most memorable Breakin Convention performance: Franck ll Louise Describe Breakin Convention in 3 words: Inclusive, Jaw Dropping (we’ll let you have that as one word) and New. Sign up to the mailing list. For More informationn about Breakin Convention and Jonzi D productions please visit:







e all see the height that Street Dance is currently reaching, with TV and film taking the discipline and catapulting it into the front rooms and cinema screens across the UK. The style is current, popular, diverse and all-inclusive, inspiring children to get fit and creative in schools, allowing young people to express themselves and offering adults a fun alternative to the gym. Not to mention the dozens of professional dancers at the height of their career performing Street Dance. It seems that over the past 5 years Street Dance has woken up a huge part of the population and opened the publics eyes to its style. But Street Dance has history going back 30 years that should also be recognized, as does every other dance style – some much newer than others but all relevant and all a part of our dance culture today. The dance form with one of the oldest histories is a founding technique, a base from which so many other genres of dance have grown from and a practice that prepares dancers for diverse, innovative and creative careers. We are talking about Ballet. In many of today’s commercial dance films it is often initially portrayed as an old fashioned and posh dance style (Bun Heads and Ballet Bods spring to mind), before taking on its own role and proving to everyone that it is indeed ‘cool to do ballet’. Young people seem to get it, whether or not from impressions left on them by these films or simply good teachers and their own perceptions, as they take up ballet alongside their street and break dance classes. Going back a bit, the origins of ballet can be traced to the Renaissance courts of Italy in the 1500s. Although very different from today’s definition of ballet, the art form spread first to France, then throughout Europe and eventually World Wide. In 1661 King Louis XIV of France who was passionate about dance, set up the first dance academy, Académie Royale de la Dance, which exists today in the form of the Paris Opera Ballet. The universal ballet terminologies that are still used today were established using the French language. In keeping with Shakespeare and drama, at first, all roles were danced by men, but by 1681, the first female dancers began to participate in professional productions. The 18th and 19th century saw the climb of technical standards in ballet and the women lost their restrictive costumes, elaborate wigs and masks that had made it hard for them to increase their level of skill and performance (hurray!) In the 19th century choreographers like Marius Petipa and composers like Peter Tchaikovsky created timeless works that are still performed today such as Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker Suite and Swan Lake. Pointe shoes were also used for the first time and tutu’s came into fashion, showing off the legs and feet of dancers. The 20th century saw modern dance come into existence in the 1920’s and 30’s, ballet too saw many breaks with tradition. Choreographers explored political themes and nontraditional movement vocabularies. In the 1960s, dance in general had a surge in popularity and its audiences and influences became younger and more rooted in pop-culture. Polish-born British dancer Dame Marie Rambert and the British dancer Dame Ninette de Valois became the founders of British ballet. Some dancers broke away from traditional ballet to create their own expressive movement styles and to choreograph dances that were more closely related to actual human life – contemporary dance. 7 centuries on and the 21st century sees ballet as strong as ever with companies such as Matthew Bourne’s, New Adventures taking traditional ballets and reworking them with theatrical imagination to create performance pieces that are fresh and exciting. Choreographers experiment with both new and traditional forms and styles, and dancers constantly seek to extend their technical and dramatic range. Ballet gives you a core (strength – we’re not talking apples), discipline and equips you with technique to build on and develop other styles of dance from. It is seen as a beautiful art form which can give it the impression of being airy fairy – but look past the perfect lines and beautiful hands and feet and see the trained, determined and focused athlete who has the ability transport you to another place, make you laugh, cry and leave you feeling inspired and alive. As we move forward in the dance world we evolve with it but it is also important to learn about and carry forward the history of dance – pass on the heritage no matter what the discipline. Keep the identity of your dance style alive otherwise it loses some of itself and becomes flat and one dimensional and dance was never intended to be 1D.




we provoke... Launch yourself into the world of professional dance, training in contemporary dance with a renowned teaching faculty, at Laban’s unique award-winning building in London, UK. Offering Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes





Programmes offered at Laban which fall within the framework for higher education qualifications in the UK are validated by The City University, to whom Laban is responsible for ensuring the quality and academic standards of its undergraduate and postgraduate provision. Laban is incorporated by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Registered Charity 309998. Supported by Arts Council England with National Lottery funds. Design Laban 2009 Photo Chris Nash.

TRAINING PRE-VOCATIONAL DANCE TRAINING (10-18 yrs) As an increasing number of young people are looking to follow the art form as a career, armed with enough of an understanding, aspiring dancers and their parents can make informed decisions about their future and discover which training route is best for them. On Pointe will be producing an ongoing feature that will take readers through the stages of training required to enter the dance industry as a professional. From exploring dance as a possible career you want to follow, to preparing for entry auditions, choosing the right class, college, University and applying for funding and finding accommodation. The aim is to provide you with advice to help you find the right training and then make the absolute most it! This month On Pointe look at how young dancers can best prepare for professional training within a vocational college or University.

What have CAT students gone on to do? • Students and their families are given advice about vocational Schools, Universities and Colleges that specialise in dance nationally and internationally. • Students preparing to leave the CAT programme at 16 or 18 years participate in an Audition Tool Kit – which prepares them for the application and audition process.

How can I find out more? On Pointe will be working with The Place and Laban to bring you a regular CAT update and let you know about auditions, taster days, performances and to find out how students on the course are doing. What happens on Taster and Audition days? Taster days are designed to give you an idea of what you can expect from the course – try out the dance styles (contemporary, ballet and creative class), meet the teachers and get to speak to leaders about it all. If you enjoy the taster and want to take it to the next step you will need to apply to audition for a place on the scheme. OP met up with Vanessa Lefrancois from The Place at the Sound Moves show (see our review on page 28) to find out a bit more about the scheme and just what you can expect from an audition day. Audition Day The 2 hour audition begins with a warm up and then a ballet barre, contemporary class and creative workshop session. The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter if you’ve never done these styles before! If you’re interested in the training that the CATs offer, but have only ever done street dance or tap or no dance classes at all, still go along and try out. The teachers are looking for potential not a ready made professional! After you’ve finished dancing, you and your parents have the chance to talk about the course and ask questions – you will also watch video clips from some of the performances that CAT students take part in. Successful students will receive a letter in the post inviting them in for a talk with CAT leaders – it is important that they hear what you have to say and find out whether the scheme is right for you.

“My time on the CAT scheme was so much fun and incredibly rewarding, as it prepared me for auditions at vocational schools, and subsequent training at Laban. I would recommend this scheme to any young dancer wanting to take their dancing to a higher level.” Student Next month… What to do as you approach the ages of 16 and 18 + College or Uni, Diploma or Degree or neither? We look at the options.



When does the programme happen? • Every Saturday and one evening during the week at Laban and The Place. • Intensive courses are also run during October and February half terms. • All CAT courses begin in September. • Students take part in dance classes, choreography, creative practice, healthier dance classes and work with dancers from professional companies.

CAT Scheme – what are we talking about? National Centre’s for Advanced Training in Dance or as we will come to know them, the National Dance CATs. This innovative scheme to discover and provide talented young dancers with world-class specialist dance training, began it’s work 6 years ago as part of the DCSF. The non-residential education scheme is now available in 9 UK wide centres for young people aged 10 – 19 that demonstrate exceptional potential in dance. The CATs deliver accessible and professional training that will enable them, if they choose, to proceed towards careers in dance.


Where else is the CAT scheme running? • Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds • Dance City Academy, Newcastle • Youth Dance Academy, Swindon Dance • DanceEast Academy • DanceXchange, Birmingham • The Lowry, Salford • Dance4CAT, East Midlands + various Satellite Centre’s Take a look at for more information and see On Pointes review of Sound Moves on page ??



Arts Educational Schools London launches two new unique and exciting MAs (subject to validation), becoming the first CDS School to run MAs in Musical Theatre Creative Practice and Screen Writing. Arts Educational Schools London already has an outstanding reputation in musical theatre, and the MA Musical Theatre Creative Practice (subject to validation) is designed by musical theatre practitioners for musical theatre practitioners. The MA has been developed by Director of Musical Theatre Chris Hocking and will be the first ever full-time one-year programme in Direction, Choreography and Music Direction for Musical Theatre, starting in September 2010. The six students (two from each discipline) will be mentored throughout the course by leading industry practitioners currently working on the renowned BA (Hons) Musical Theatre programme; and visiting industry specialists have recently included; Philip Bateman, Stuart Calvert, Christine Cartwright, Gillian Lynne, Stephen Mear, Torquil Monro and Gareth Valentine. The course gives the opportunity to work on up-coming productions including; the UK premier of the Tony Award-winning Curtains, and the first student production of the multi Award-winning Spring Awakening.

Inspired by the strength of Arts Educational Schools London’s Film Department, the new MA Screenwriting (subject to validation) has been developed by the Head of Film and TV Michael Bray. Taught throughout by leading professional practitioners, this very practical course will give students the experience of writing • MA Applications open (subject to validation) outlines, treatments from 31st March 2010 and pilots, as well as • Closing date for applications (Musical a full-length original Theatre Creative Practice): 31st July 2010 for screenplay, giving the entry in September 2010 skills needed to pitch • Closing date for applications (Screenwriting): their ideas, market 31st October 2010 for entry in January 2011 their work and get it made: and a final script will be made by the film department. “The MA SCREENWRITING course takes a pragmatic and professional approach to the art and craft of screenwriting, from pitch to production. It will Iead the writer through the development process, from first draft to finished screenplay. The MA will develop the writers’ skills and techniques to bring their ideas to life in a form that is commercially attractive to the industry.” Head of Film and TV Michael Bray Michael Bray is an established script writer in his own right and has worked with film companies including: Gaumont in France, Film Four and Jacket and Winchester Films, and his film The Seachange starring Ray Winstone was chosen by Robert Redford for the Sundance Festival. Both MAs will aid those who wish to pursue a career in Performing Arts, be it academic or practical.

“The future of this country’s musical theatre tradition depends on centres of excellence, such as the Arts Educational Schools London, which nurture and inspire talent”. Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber

For further information or to speak to course leaders please contact Deborah Goodman DGPR on 020 8959 9980 or

For your course to be featured in On Pointe please contact:






In May 2009, Ashley Banjo and his troupe Diversity took the UK by storm after winning Britain’s Got Talent. Nearly 20 million people in the UK were glued to their television screens to watch Diversity overcome the odds and sweep to victory, in what was the most watched TV programme on these shores for over six years. The leader and choreographer of this group, Ashley, began his dancing journey at the age of 5 and with the support of his family and his Mums background in dance; some would say this was Ashley’s destiny. But the creative choreographer, judge, dancer and role model has a secret that would surprise most – well, not so much of a secret, more of a double life. Ashley was juggling his dance life and his University studies, which sounds straight forward, but he wasn’t at University studying dance, he was studying physics and biology! We know he had a little help…ok maybe a lot of help from his friends, namely 10 of them making up the Diversity family but the Ashley Banjo wave is still riding high. So how did this focused, part time dancer, would be scientist, win the UK’s largest talent show and become a TV judge, launch a new tour and feature in the first UK street dance movie all in the space of a year? No mean feat. On Pointe felt we needed to know, and thought we should ask!


Michael Jackson, Fred Astaire, Wayne Sleep, Poppin’ Pete and Boogaloo Sam

How and why did you get into dance? Did someone inspire you? To be honest, I was born into it. My mum was a dancer, so she always inspired me. She opened a dance school as a business about 15 years ago, and I’ve been dancing ever since. I was probably about 5 when I first started getting really into it. Your mum was a dancer with the Royal Ballet and this month On Pointe are writing about the advantages of having ballet training no matter what dance style you specialize in – did you have any classical training and what are your thoughts on this? Yes I started off doing classical dance. I trained briefly in ballet, but never really took it that far, which is something I regret. Whilst ballet is totally the opposite to hip-hop and the kind of music associated with street dance, it gives you a very good discipline. I think I have taken a lot of influence from my early days of classical training. How did Diversity begin? Well it really began before we knew it did. We’ve all been dancing since we were tiny, and we’ve

known each other for many years. There are three sets of brothers in the group, and the rest are made up of close friends. We saw an advert for the UK Street Dance Championships in 2007, and that’s when we decided to put a name on it. We went on to win it also! Tell us about the tour you have coming up, the concept is intriguing! What can your fans expect from the show? We started the tour end of March, and it’s going really well. The reviews so far have been beyond our wildest expectations. We’ve been getting standing ovations everywhere we’ve been! We wanted to have a theme to it so it’s more of a theatrical production, rather than just routine after routine. It’s all based around toys coming to life. We’ve called it Diversitoys! Everyone loves toys so I thought it would be a nice idea. It seems to be going down well. Also, it’s not just Diversity. We have a whole cast full of other people, including a contortionist, a martial arts expert and Beat-Boxer! What sort of experience was filming Street Dance the Movie and working with the other cast members? Had you been on a film set before? I’ve never been involved in a film before no, so it was kind of a new experience for me. Obviously I’ve been in front of quite a few cameras this last year, so it wasn’t totally out of the ordinary. It was great to be involved. It was interesting to see these new 3D cameras, and we had to do take after take to make sure everything was spot on. I’m looking forward to the finished result.. Do you ever see yourself going into acting? What’s going to be the next project for you?

Not at the moment no, I’m too busy with Diversity and my other solo projects, but I’ll try anything. Whatever comes my way I will give it a go! How is the degree going? Was it important for you to continue with your education while you were training and performing? It’s very important to me yes, but it became impossible. I was in the middle of a pretty fullon science degree. This journey I’m on at the moment is only going to come around once, and I want to concentrate on Diversity and my TV work right now. However, no matter how old I am, I will return to my studies to finish the degree. I loved my studies, so I will be back! Is there a dancer who in your opinion we should be watching out for? Akai from Sky 1’s Got To Dance. I really championed him on the show, and I’m delighted he won. He is so talented. He’s only ten years old! Of course there’s Aidan Davis who was on Britain’s Got Talent with us as well. I think Aidan’s only 13, and he’s an unbelievable street dancer. He’s actually part of our Diversitoys tour at the moment. He has fitted in really well. They both have massive futures ahead of them. Diversity aside, if you could create your dream super crew from any dancers past and present who would make the cut? This is a really hard one! I like to think my crew is pretty perfect as it is! However, if I had to choose a few, I wouldn’t mind the following: Michael Jackson, Fred Astaire, Wayne Sleep, Poppin’ Pete and Boogaloo Sam. That would be a pretty decent crew!



TO THE POINTE What style of dance interests you that you don’t already do? Tap Dance What would you be doing if you weren’t a dancer? Nuclear Physics What’s your… Favorite item of clothing – My caps Favorite brand - New Era Favorite footwear - Vans Favorite food – Treacle Sponge and Custard 3 things you have in your pocket right now – Money, Instructions of


how to get to my next interview and Credit Card Who’s your most famous friend? It’s a tough one, probably Cheryl Cole… What’s going to be on your rider for your tour? The usual, Donuts, Water, Red Bull, and a dressing room big enough for all of us! What song has been in your head all day? – You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman. Dream, Believe, Achieve – Diversity’s motto


This intensive week long course will cover a variety of Hip Hop dance styles from Lockin & Poppin to Breakin & NuSkool. Each teacher will intrduce you to their individual style and help build your skills to become a more versatile dancer. Friends and family are then invited to an informal show on the Friday afternoon.


HEN: 23 - 27th Aug / 10am - 5pm (reg from 9am)


HERE: Central London (studios to be confirmed)


HO & HOW MUCH: 25s & under (all levels) / ÂŁ180 all inc

or contact us on 0208 964 9948 or 07807 855 337 /



Title: StreetDance the Movie 3D Genre: Documentary, Drama Starring: Nichola Burley, Diversity, Flawless, George Sampson, Richard Winsor, Charlotte Rampling, Rachel McDowall, Teneisha Bonner Directed by: Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini Production Year: 2010 Distributor: Vertigo Pictures MPAA Rating: PG Running Time: 98 minutes Official Website:



ertigo Films presents StreetDance the Movie, the first ever street dance film to be shown in 3D and for that matter, the first ever UK full length feature film shot in 3D– dance really is leading the way. Whilst training for the UK Championships, a street dance crew is forced to work with ballet dancers in return for free rehearsal space. With no common ground and passions riding high, the two groups of dancers realize they need to find a way of working together to compete at the Championships. We are introduced to the film by James Richardson, co-founder of Vertigo Films and producer of StreetDance 3D. After ensuring mobile phones are switched off and 3D glasses are firmly in place, the audience of enthusiastic teenage dancers, industry and press, settle down in anticipation. The film opens with a narrative from our leading lady Carly (Nichola Burley). As we watch reigning Champions ‘The Surge’ (Flawless) power through a slick piece of choreography, we hear of her passion for dance and of the crew she is realising her dreams with in London. The 3D effect is immediate and we collectively gasp as dancers come at you performing flips and lifts. We meet Jay (Ukweli Roach), Carly’s flakey boyfriend who, after turning his back on the crew in the run up to the Championship Finals (for some ‘time out’) leaves Carly in charge of taking the group all the way. This is easier said than done as she is faced with task of getting ballet dancers to b-boy. Nichola Burley is strong and likeable as Carly, her previous acting credits include Donkey Punch and Kicks and although she initially intended to become a dancer and attended Northern School of Contemporary Dance in her hometown of Leeds, she is overshadowed on the dance floor by her crew members who are some of the fiercest dancers in the UK. The audience is introduced to the crew characters in scenes reminiscent of Lock, Stock with quick paced action to freeze frame cuts. You instantly see familiar faces from “Into the Hoods”, “Insane in the Brain”, “Boy Blue”, “Matthew Bourne”, “Chicago” and “The Lion King” to name but a few. These are the cream of the UK dance crop and are the lifeline of the film. Doing it for the girls are Sacha Chang (Aimee) and Danielle Lecointe (Justine) who are all attitude, energy and eye-catching, Lil Stef (Steph) is a phenomenal dancer who flows between break dance, house and street with a style that is dope. The boys provide many comedy moments and you get the feeling there is more than a little of themselves in the characters they play. Kofi Agyemang (Mack) is animated and brilliant to watch with Bradley Charles (Frankie), Brook Miliner (Brook) and Lex Milczarek (Boogie) completing the set perfectly. 16

Playing Carly’s best friend Shawna, is On Pointe’s Pro Dancer of the month; Teneisha Bonner, proving in her debut film role that she has a natural acting ability that is strong and honest, with laugh out loud lines that are delivered as sharply as her dance moves. Carly’s crew is invited to the sumptuous studios of a Royal Ballet-esque building by Ballet Mistress Helena (Charlotte Rampling) after she watches the crew perform in a shopping centre. Believing the street dancers can inject some passion into her talented but bored looking ballerinas, the barre is set – literally, as the dancers meet and battle across the dividing line of ballet and street. Here we meet the ballet dancers, or, as they are initially portrayed, the slightly derogatory term of ballet bods is more appropriate. Sianad Gregory (Britannia High) has the perfect pout for her role as stroppy, apple crunching ballerina Chloe. Isabella (Rachel McDowall) and Bex (Jennifer Leung) are her corps de ballet. Hugo Cortes is striking as Gabe and if ballet is for sissy’s, I am on that team all day long. The very talented Richard Winsor, protégé of Matthew Bourne, plays leading man and Carly’s second love interest, Tomas. We are led on a journey of rehearsals, food fights (canteen scene, check), tears and laughter as the ballet dancers struggle to get ‘street’ and Carly tries to come to terms with Jays elusiveness. Highlights include a fantastic performance from Diversity and a club scene reminiscent of nights at 10 Rooms with dancers doing their thang. Here we see a battle pick up between Championship favourites, The Surge and Carly’s crew as the outsiders prove they are the one’s to watch. These scenes are immense and the pace is fast and furious, with the boys and girls ripping up the dance floor. The ballet boys ditch their shirts, take to the floor and prove that pirouettes and power are a match for corkscrews and back sumi’s. We see Jay come back into Carlys life but not quite in the way she had hoped – we won’t spoil the twist but as a result of it, Carly finds herself taking comfort from Tomas. A mention must go to George Sampson who plays loveable Eddie, the ‘kid brother’ character who is looked upon with affection by the crew. The preconception is that Sampson wouldn’t match the talents of the other dancers and was an act included only because of his Britain’s Got Talent success. He isn’t at the same level as the other dancers, but he most certainly holds his own in the film and wins over the audience with his cheeky chappy ways and animated dance solo. Carly’s crew become Breaking Point and despite a few hitches, go on to compete in the final of the Championships. Will their cross over of styles be celebrated or will they be laughed off the floor? The sound track is integral to the film and although not all officially true street dance songs, there is a good mix of beats and rhymes that serve the choreography well and turned up to a good volume too! Madcon, N-Dubz, Chipmink, Pixie Lott, Cheryl Cole and Tinie Tempah all feature. Award winning directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini successfully tap in to the dance world and with their experience at Bikini Films directing music videos, you can see the understanding they have for this environment. The cinematography has pace and life and captures the energy of the dance routines, eyes are pulled this way and that as they follow the choreography. There are a couple of occasions when you feel you have lost a section of a routine or missed the formation in a piece but overall it is breath taking as the 3D effect takes hold. Choreographers Kate Prince (director of ZooNation and creator of Into the Hoods), Kenrick Sandy (Boy Blue) and Will Tuckett (choreographer for The Royal Ballet and ENB) provide the heartbeat of the film. All three are well respected choreographers in their field and inspire dancers and audiences alike with their creativity and talent for narrative and boundary pushing work. Overall, StreetDance the Movie is a feel good, positive and fun film. Although at times the storyline is a little cheese on toast (the last 5 minutes don’t do justice to the other 93) we forgive it totally as you are drawn in by the characters, the music and the energy and ability of the performers. The calibre of the dancers is unquestionable and if it inspires young people to get out and get involved with any style of dance, then it can only be a good thing.



n Pointes first Pro Dancer interview sets the bar high as we speak to Teneisha Bonner, currently one of the most sought after dancers in the UK. Her video credits include Rhianna “Shut up and Drive”, Alesha Dixon’s “Boy Does Nothing” amongst others. She has danced in shows including Kylie Minogue’s

“Showgirl World Tour” and starred in “Bounce”, “Insane in the Brain” and was critically acclaimed for her role as “Spinderella” in ZooNation’s “Into the Hoods”. On Pointe catch up with Teneisha as she prepares to make her film debut in StreetDance the Movie 3D (released 21st May) playing Shawna, the straight talking hairdresser…

How old were you when you started dancing and was there anything that inspired you in the beginning? I started dancing when I was 15 and then started training professionally when I was 16. I always had an interest in dance and at the age of 14 my next door neighbour took me to see Cats, which was the first show I had ever seen. It was when the show was in the round and I thought it was brilliant.

I’ve been able to pocket all of the money! I don’t necessarily think that you need an agent to work, I do have representation through ZooNation for certain things and Chantal (Chantal Spiteri is ZooNations company manager) is brilliant because she’s good at negotiating for us and having been a dancer herself she’s coming from our side and hasn’t forgotten what its like.

What techniques did you train in and did you specialize in one in particular? At LSC I trained in everything including ballet, contemporary, tap and jazz styles and then went into the Jazz Dance Company in my final year. I loved Studio Centre, it was good for me because I wasn’t a musical theatre bod and I wasn’t a ballet dancer – clearly with these thighs of mine! (Teneisha has a physique you can only dream of achieving!) I was in the lowest group for ballet and started off in the lowest group for jazz but I loved it because we were the special kids and had such fantastic and brilliant teachers: Anita Young and Brenda Last were inspiring. Did you take extra classes outside of your college, if so, where? Yes, I used to go to Pineapple and do Jimmy Williams class (popping and locking legend). Soon after I started at LSC he began teaching there and that gave me more of a grounding in street styles. This helped me to not just be locked in the up right posture, by having Jim once a week it enabled me to be able to be versatile and not get so locked up in technique. Did you have a clear idea of the path you wanted to follow as a professional dancer and what you wanted to achieve?


No, not at all. Some people do, they’ve dreamt about it since they were in the womb - but when I was at college I saw myself doing a bit of everything. I saw myself being mostly on the commercial side but I also saw myself doing contemporary and jazz, I saw myself doing hip hop and maybe blagging a tap routine! I knew I wouldn’t necessarily ever be on stage at the Royal Opera House with pointe shoes on – that wasn’t my lot but dancer’s have to be versatile you can’t be blinkered in this industry and I think more so now than ever, these young ones that are coming up are so good! Do you have an agent/representation? If so, who are they? God is my biggest agent, I’ll tell you that much! In terms of work, when I first started out I found that I was with up to 20 agencies, so many you know, because everyone wants to be an agent and there was a time when everyone was acting as an agent! It came down that only really 5 of them were calling me, if that, and then most of the other time I’d hear about auditions and just go along. Or people had seen me in class, I’d be training, like keeping my head down training and they’d see me and ask for my details if they thought I might be suitable for something they were doing. Most of my work hasn’t come through agents, which has its benefits because

What has been the highlight of your dance career so far? Wow, that’s hard! ok, top 3?! These aren’t in any order but my top 3 would be being a part of “Kylie’s Show Girl Tour”, working with the “Bounce Street Dance Company” and a year before joining the Company, being in “Bounce” the show. As a result of joining the Company I went on to appear in “Insane In the Brain” as part of the original cast in London. And of course doing “Hoods”, the two big ones for me are “Hoods” and “Insane in the Brain” – oh my gosh and then there’s the film as well! (we agree that as we’re going to be talking about StreetDance the Movie next we won’t include that here). Both Hoods and Insane in the Brain are narrative productions where the character portrayal was just as important as the dancing if not more. Do you have a comedy casting story to share? (Thinks for a moment then laughs) Yes, once I went to this audition where we had to face the camera and pretend that we were kissing - by ourselves, as if the camera were the person we were kissing. A guy went before me and I wanted to laugh at him so much, he was so funny, going totally over the top – hilarious!


What was your first professional job? Dancing for Dane Bowers in his music video for Buggin’. My first TV was CD:UK for choreographer, Shai.

Where did you train professionally? I went to Brit School and then London Studio Centre.



Teneisha Bonner

Do you still take classes and if so, in what style and where? Oh yes, dance is always evolving and changing and you just have to keep up with it. If you intend on working you need to keep up with what’s happening. I really got into house dancing last year and went to Paris with a friend of mine to train in the style for a week. The freedom that they have to explore movement over there was really, really inspiring. I really enjoy house. What was being part of StreetDance the Movie 3D like? Can you tell us a bit about your character Shawna? The first word that pops into my head is hard. Hard because once the cameras start filming you can’t pace yourself because it will show on screen. We’d do a couple of takes for each scene, running them from top to tail, full pelt – then it would be ok, reload from the top. We’d be like, please give us a minute! I found it physically and mentally exhausting, like being on a permanent training session! But it was great because I got a chance to act and dance on screen, which I had never done before. Shawna was fun to play, she was cool and I think I had the best character in the film – but I guess I would say that wouldn’t I! She was so much fun and we’re similar in a lot of ways and then very different in others. She’s a hairdresser, she wears several different wigs throughout the film – in one of the trailers for the film you can see me getting my hair and makeup done and Darren (hair and make up) had my wigs up and called it Shawna’s Utopia! For every scene change I had a change of wig, I think it was 9 in total. Some of the things she wore were really out there as well. One of the ways in which we’re similar is she’s a straight talker. She doesn’t mince her words! What do you prefer dancing on: stage or screen? Definitely stage, there’s nothing better than a live audience, they drive you as a performer.

Would you like to try your hand at choreography? I choreograph for classes (Teneisha is part of the Master class team at ZooNation), but I’m not a choreographer. I’m very some time-ish (eh?), basically I’m on Teneisha time and I do it when I feel like it - which isn’t good for choreographing! You’re part of ZooNation dance company, what is it like working with Kate Prince and how has being part of the company influenced you as a dancer? Do you know what, it’s really weird because sometimes it doesn’t feel as if I’m part of a company as such. Kate and I are good friends and we just get on with it so I don’t separate the two.

What are you up to next? I actually went to an audition today for a new musical going into Sadler’s Wells in September called Shoes. I met Stephen Mear (one of the 4 choreographers for Shoes) on So You Think You Can Dance where I was assisting Kate (Prince). He is such a cool guy, I can sing this guys praises all day. He asked if I would come down to the auditions and see how I found it. I haven’t done jazz, much less jazz in character shoes, for a while but I really enjoyed it. Hopefully it’ll work out.

dance is always evolving and changing and you just have to keep up with it.

You’ve been described as ‘dancing with an edge, an energy and sharpness that I’ve never seen before’ – do you have any advice for young aspiring dancers to reach the level of success you have? Get your head down and just work. When I started to get jobs I didn’t really understand why because I wasn’t really out auditioning – I was in class. I got a lot of work through people seeing me in class and thinking I was right for a part. I think the same thing happens now. A lot of professional dancers do go to class, then again quite a lot of them don’t but the ones that do, they’re the ones you want to keep tabs with because they’re moving with the flow. Get your head down and get to class – I know sometimes it can be expensive but get to class and if you hear about auditions, go along and go for it. Enjoy it! If you’re not enjoying it no one is going to enjoy watching you! That’s the reality of it! Nothing worse than an uptight and highly strung person!



TO THE POINTE Heels or trainers? Trainers! 3 things you have in your pocket? I don’t have any pockets. What song has been in your head all day? Pixie Lotts cover of Kings of Leon ‘Use Somebody’ (audition song for Shoes). Favorite choreographer? Kate Prince. Favorite food? Chicken, rice and peas with lots of avocado (Teneisha is cooking while we’re on the phone – healthy grilled chicken with vegetables.)

Favorite brand? I’m not into brands; as long as it doesn’t shrink on me I’m easy . What goes with you everywhere? My knickers (much laughing – well they do go everywhere with you!) What would you be doing if you weren’t a dancer? As a kid I wanted to be an astronaut. As I got a bit older I wanted to go into psychology. I enjoy teaching, more so now than ever. I‘ve received some really, really lovely and encouraging words from young dancers that may lead me to working more with them.


FASHION & Lifestyle THE TRAINING SHOE - FROM ATHLETICS TO FASHION They’re big and comfortable and have confusing names. And sure, they might not result in the most elegant battement lent, but the humble training shoe has come to be much more than an aid to athletics. We’re taking a trip down memory lane to look at this wardrobe staple in its many exciting forms. Along with dodgy perms and WHAM!, the trainer all but defined the 80s – it became a marker of distinction between the yuppie and the ‘hood, between the stiffs and the cool crew. Think Run DMC in their shelltoes. Think of Adidas Superstars, box haircuts and fedoras, bafflingly worn all at the same time. The training shoe had crossed over from practical to fashionable thanks to the rise and rise of street culture, like break dancing, that required comfortable, non-slip footwear. Ever tried doing even a basic top rock in tap shoes? It just doesn’t have the intimidating chutzpah it’s supposed to. Glitzy 70s disco and stacked platforms gave way to gritty, lo-fi, shouty hip-hop and KRS1 telling us to do rude things to the police. The rise of the trainer signalled a new youth who were comfortable in their own skin, as well as in their nifty footwear. The 90s brought us the shoes of the future with the Nike Air Max III, or Air Max 90s as they’re more commonly known. When these guys hit the shops all hell broke loose. They were the only thing to be seen in, in playgrounds across the country, and seemed to defy all logic with their see-through heels and pockets of air that cushioned the foot and magically never burst. At the time they were wildly expensive, but we didn’t care, we had to have their cushiony goodness. So much so that these air-filled wonders are still doing roaring trade today, thanks to Nike’s ever-shifting rota of colours and their customisation lab Nike ID. The AM90s were never just a trainer, they were a signal of wealth, of being, to use a 90s phrase, ‘with it’. These shoes were your status. The swoosh marked you out as a person of quality and those little fluorescent bubbles in the heel made absolutely certain that the world knew you were a king of style. In the naughty noughties everybody lost their minds where trainers were concerned and sheer craziness ensued. Sneakers had crossed further over than mere fashion and had become status symbols in their own right. But, while hip-hop moguls would wear a fresh pair of sneaks every day and blow the expense (yes, Damon Dash, we’re looking at you) the rest of us mere mortals came over all nostalgic and went hell-for-leather 70s with our old friends the Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. These were fiercely popularised by basketball player Chuck Taylor in the early 1900s and experienced a massive resurgence in the 70s along with flower power and smoking pot. Then, three decades later with the popularisation of rock music, and with bands like The Killers spearheading the movement (not to mention Dr Who), Converse got cool again. They were worn with jeans, they were worn with suits, they were worn with beards, by boys, by girls, in red, in white and dirty or clean. Limited editions were released and a craze had taken hold. During the noughties, if you were anybody, you were wearing these unassuming canvas shoes decorated with the iconic red star 20


WHAT: Converse All Star WHO: “The Most Famous Athletic Shoe in History” were adopted by basketball player Chuck Taylor, renamed Chuck Taylor All Stars and included his signature on the ankle patch. This iconic sneaker was adopted by punk rock fans in the late 70’s and maintained this unity with music through the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s, having been manufactured in every colour imaginable. They have recently been endorsed by Julian Casablancas of the Strokes, Santogold and Pharell Williams.







WHAT: Puma Suede WHO: Victoriously worn at the Mexico Olympics by civil rights icon Tommie Smith and now released in packs of numerous colour ways, these are a true classic in the world of shoes. Popular on the hip-hop and break dancing, a classic sneaker sillouette, phat laces and suede lining have ensured these have remained as popular now as they were back in the day.

WHAT: Adidas Superstars WHO : Orginally marketed to basketball players, these unique all-leather upper, nonmarking rubber soled “shelltoes” were first snapped up by NBA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and later popularised by Run DMC. Worn with tongues pushed out and laces undone, these sneakers became a hip-hop staple.

WHAT: Vans Era WHO: The first Vans shoe to feature the ‘Off The Wall’ logo, made legendary by Tony Alva and the Dogtown crew - the Era became skateboarding’s first shoe back in 1976. Featuring a padded collar, outside heel and the Vans classic waffle sole for comfort, strength and support. Now with a number of collaborations and colour ways, this sneaker is a must-have for any sneaker freak.

WHAT: Nike Air Jordans WHO : Produced by Nike, endorsed by professional NBA basketball player Michael Jordan and marked a new era in basketball shoewear design. Banned by the NBA in 1985 due to colour restrictions only fuled more publicity for this revolutionary design. With new designs released each year, original models are highly sought after in the fanatics collection.

WHAT: Nike AirMax WHO : Making the air bag visible for the first time, Nike constantly introduce new and updated models under the same product line. Popular in it’s many guises, the fluro colour ways of the Nike Air Max 90’s and Nike Air Max 95’s brought them into the public consciousness and everyone from Thom York of Radiohead to the Beckhams were seen sporting these classics.

WHAT: Reebok Pumps WHO : The first shoe to have an internal inflation mechanism, professional basketball player Dominique Wilkins wore the Reebok Pump original from 1989 on and it became a status symbol on the courts and in high school. Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary last year, the Reebok Pump has made a come back, this time more as a fashion statement.





s well as the all-singing, all-dancing core brands we know and love, make way for a run of new kicks on the block. The ‘unbranded’ trainer has been flying low on the radar despite the call for a kick back against athletic brands. Although usually content with 1-2 colourways per pair and smaller collections to choose from per season, comfort can be found in the familiarity of materials such as canvas, rubber and suede. With little to no branding, key players such as Clae, Supra and Creative Recreation are producing super stylish sneakers with little to no fuss. Bridging the gap between the trainer and the shoe, yet available on the high street, these luxury feel trainers are a fraction of the price of their designer counterparts. Streetwear designer Sung Choi founded Clae in 2001 by identifying a void in the market and filling it by producing comfortable classic footwear. Subtle branding techniques are employed by masters of minimal aesthetic, Manhattan based label Common Projects. Often crafted from the finest Italian leather, CP brand each style with a gold stamp on the heel, representing the shoe's individual serial number and size. Hailing from Orange County CA, Creative Recreation boast P. Diddy and Gwen Stefani among their many followers and are regularly seen on and off the dance floor. Most recently, by the male professional dancers on US show Dancing With The Stars. You might need surgically removing from your colourful branded treads but with the minimalistic properties of these sleek chic sneaks, the wave of the understated indie trainer is definitely one worth riding.



Now we all know that every sneaker head is very loyal to the brand they love, yes I said “BRAND” deep down we all have one brand that is close to our heart, which is cool but my question to you is, are you a crispy out of the box type of sneaker head or a warn in and had plenty of action type of trainer freak? If you’re not sure on your answer, there is an easy way to work this out. You’re in a club, on a train or bus, in a studio or on a stage, anywhere with lots of peeps. Do you…. a) Stand with you feet in a “V” shape (or first position for you ballet heads) to avoid people stepping on your new kicks?

b) Do you get amongst it and don’t mind peoples big feet standing on your sneaks?

• Embrace minimalism - No more than 3 colourways per pair. • Think luxury – minimal branding. • Don’t fancy lace up and keep sneaks boxfresh. • Double the fun and get nifty with Adidas Transform Pack. • If you do go big branded – check out Nike Air Max Skyline.

So are you a Krispy Clean or Plenty of action type person?!

NAME: Clara FROM: Paris FAVOURITE BRAND: Nike WEARING: Nike Air Jordan Spizike NAME: Radhiyyah FROM: London FAVOURITE BRAND: Reebok WEARING: Reebok Freestyles 22

NAME: Holly FROM: Manchester FAVOURITE BRAND: Pastry WEARING: Pastry Blueberry tartan smoothie high-top

Supra - ltd Edition TK Society shoe £89.95

Clae - Parker £79.99

Creative Recreation Dicoco £170.00

Converse - Allstars £38.00

Nike - Skyline £79.99

Puma - Clyde £55.00

Puma - Unlimited High £40.00

Adidas - Forum Star Wars £95.00

Vans - Era £37.99

arts educational schools london

postgraduate courses applications now open

MA in Musical theatre creative practice Director choreographer Music Director

MA Screenwriting Starting jan 2011






ames Wilton graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in July 2009 and has since been working as a freelance choreographer and teacher. Last year he was awarded the 2009-10 Blueprint Bursary, an initiative run by East London Dance, London Youth Dance and Sadler’s Wells. As part of the Bursary James was commissioned to perform his Blueprint piece at venues and schools in five London boroughs as part of the Jam Free dance development initiative ( We caught up with him at one of the Jam Free performances at Jackson’s Lane in Haringey... What was your first experience of dance? I chose dance as a GCSE subject. I hadn’t really done any dance before that and then I got involved in a few little projects outside of that and started to enjoy dance a lot more.  I joined Cornwall Youth Dance Company when I was fifteen and just loved it from there and then.  By the time I’d been dancing for a year I’d made the decision that it was what I wanted to do. Tell us about your training? Virtually all my training has been Contemporary and Ballet, I’ve done the odd workshop here and there in different styles but it’s mainly been contemporary. I trained at the London


Contemporary Dance School and before then at St Austell College back in Cornwall on the BTEC Course there. You seem to have a real passion for choreography... I really want to make and perform my own work... well for as long as my body will let me, because it’s quite physically demanding! Choreography is what I want to focus on, by the end of my first year at LCDS I knew that is what I wanted to do. I choreographed pieces throughout my time there and I had some success with pieces while I was at the school. A few were chosen to tour with LC3, which is the third year touring company.

“Another influence is martial arts and also professional wrestling” Where does your choreographic inspiration come from? All over the place really! The piece I made for Resolution [at The Place] was based on Mayan Apocalypse theories so that was quite ‘out there’ and then this piece, my Blueprint piece, is based on animal instincts, animal characteristics.  I’m influenced by the music a lot of the time. I have to choose music that I can

listen to a lot without getting bored with it, so my music is something that I like to choose quite early and it has a lot of influence on my work. Another influence is martial arts and also professional wrestling a little bit, in my earlier work that I was making at The Place and I suppose it’s still there as well, just because in a sense it’s a little bit like dance in that professional wrestling is choreographed, I like the energy too. What does Contemporary Dance mean to you? For me it’s very much about being human in a movement way, but sort of exaggerated. How did you find out about the Blueprint Bursary and why did you apply? I’m not sure, I meant to apply for it last year but because I was still in fulltime training I was unable to.  It sounded like a fantastic opportunity, something could be a springboard for me to promote my work and also to give back through teaching the Jam Free workshops, which is great.  It’s been a real opportunity for me to give something back.  So far in my career I’ve taken so much and done so many things that it’s now important for me to be able to say thank you in a way, to take the knowledge that I’ve gleaned from other people and pass it on.


Were there any male dancers or teachers who you looked up to as role models when you first started dancing? One of the male teachers who worked for my youth company really made me think about things and analyse what I was doing a lot more. When I was young I was just enjoying dance and not really thinking about anything or forming opinions on things and so he really made me think ok, what is it I like about dance, what is it I like about performing and about choreography? And that helped to shaped where I went from then.

How did you recruit your dancers for your Blueprint piece? I knew Katie as she did the Certificate course at The Place, we’d only really danced together once in an improvisation and I saw a lot of potential for her doing my work. With Natasha I held an audition, she turned up and it just clicked, it just worked.  I’m really pleased to be working with them both. What has been the best thing to come out of the Bursary so far? Probably my mentor Glenn Wilkinson, who danced with Rambert for many years.  When he’s been giving feedback to me it’s been really constructive, he can draw on so many different people’s choreographies, his own work as well and he’s made me think about so many different things that I wouldn’t have necessarily considered before so that’s been really great.

“hopefully dispelled this a girls thing to do”

And of course the piece! It’s finished although it will of course naturally evolve over time and I’m still adjusting things here and there, even in the technical rehearsal just now. The rehearsal week was pretty hectic, with five days to get the piece together, working six hours a day. By the fourth day I had a rough idea of what we were doing ready to tie it all together on the fifth day and get it closer to what I wanted it to be.

What’s next? I’m hoping to put in an application to the Arts Council to enable me to develop my work further, I like this piece a lot and would love some more time to explore and extend it, as with the piece I made for Resolution. Some financial support would mean I could pay my dancers more for their fantastic work!  I’m working towards getting a company up and running, although thinking of a name for it is impossible!

This is an edited version of an article which originally appeared in the youth zone.


Leading the way in Hertfordshire for Hip Hop, Street dance, Jazz and Contemporary dance.

Alter Ego defined: “Somebody’s alternate personality or persona; another self”. “We at Alter Ego Dance believe that everyone has an inner dancer waiting to come out”, so says Brendon Hansford, Director and Founder of Alter Ego Dance and we believe he is on course to justify his statement. Having strived to search out the most dynamic and inspirational dancers to teach at the brand new Alter Ego Dance Studio and with the promise that he will only supply the best tuition available, he believes that with the right teachers in the right environment, anyone can reach their full potential.

Alter Ego Dance Studio is the only dedicated dance studio in the whole of Hertfordshire boasting a spacious Olympic standard sprung floor, with mirrors from wall to wall. The detached building also has a luxurious waiting area with reception, Sky TV, coffee machine, drinks and snack machine and some comfy sofa’s to relax in after an energetic class! The studio has it’s own car park and being set off the road in woodland, the stunning scenery surrounding the building only adds to the fresh and lively environment.

INFORMATION A huge variety of styles are run from 5pm - 10pm every weekday from aged 6 upwards and more classes are held at the weekend. For more info: Key Pointe: Dance classes in: Hip Hop, Street Dance, Locking, Popping, Break Dance, House Dance, Contemporary, Jazz and Lyrical. Ages start from 6 through to adult. The studio is available for hire.

Studio details: Olympic Sprung Dance Floor (12x8 Metres). Wall to wall Mirrors. Powered Sound System. Reception area with coffee machine, drinks and snack machine, Sky TV.



rumour of dance being



outh Dance is the future of our industry and from what we see developing – the future looks exciting! With the level of teachers, choreographers, training schemes and mentors involved in training and guiding young dancers today, we see a new generation of performers and choreographers emerging that are more diverse, creative and talented than ever. Whether you’re dancing for a hobby or aiming to follow a career in the business, On Pointe supports youth dance and by working with other organisations we will bring you news on a number of youth groups, events, workshops and classes. If you want to tell us about what your dance group, troupe or crew are up to, get in touch, we want to hear about it – all styles and techniques please! Email:

NLPAC Based in Muswell Hill, NLPAC has been providing classes in dance, drama and music for over 15 years. With a huge variety of performing arts styles to choose from Ballet to Breakdance and Drama to Drums there is something for everyone. Workshops are also run during the holidays. Exams are offered in the following syllabus’s: ISTD, RAD, LAMDA, ABRSM, ROCK SCHOOL plus GCSEs in Dance and Drama. Students take part in regular performances at local and central London Theatre’s. Email: Tel: 020 8444 4544


ENGLISH YOUTH BALLET The English Youth Ballet’s policy is to present full-length classical ballets in the regional theatres of the UK and to give more opportunities to young dancers outside London to perform within a professional setting. The Company of professional dancers, choreographers, technical and administrative staff, put on up to eight productions per year, rehearsing and performing across different counties. Contact:
Janet Lewis
Tel: 01689 856747 Email:




CHISENHALE DANCE SPACE Chisenhale Dance Space is based in Bow East London. They provide high quality, dynamic and creative dance classes, holiday activities and outreach projects for children and young people. Weekly Creative Dance Classes for 2 to 8 years concentrate on developing imagination, co-ordination and expression through dance, movement and music. Street and Youth Dance Projects for 7 to 17 years are after school projects offering a combination of Street with other dance styles to develop young dancers’ skills and performance experience. Email: Tel: 020 8981 6617

Step into Dance is a partnership project between The Jack Petchey Foundation and the Royal Academy of Dance. The fully inclusive community dance scheme currently runs in 100 schools across 13 boroughs. The 11 – 16 year old students are offered the opportunity to learn a wide range of dance techniques and styles, including Bollywood, break dance, capoeira, contemporary, jazz, jive, musical theatre and street dance. Providing weekly extra-curricular classes for young people who would not otherwise have an opportunity to pursue their passion and develop their dance skills, the programme seeks to involve young men and non-able bodied young people as well as those with special educational needs. The project has allowed a number of young people who were at risk of exclusion to stay in school and achieve success, by providing them with an outlet for their energy and teaching them self discipline and how to work in a team. The scheme hosts regular events throughout the year, giving students the opportunity to perform in front of friends, family and other students. Step LIVE! is the yearly celebratory event where the most talented and exciting groups from the programme come to together in an exciting showcase. This year Step LIVE! Takes place at Sadler’s Wells on Sunday 11 July and is part of Big Dance 2010. ‘Students who find it difficult to express themselves through words and language have found ways to express themselves much more effectively through Dance’. Olivia Douse – St Marks Academy Visit: to find out more.


MOMENTUM DANCE Momentum aims to promote and develop dance across West London’s vibrant and varied dance scene, encompassing Classical Indian, Bollywood, Irish Folk, Ballet, Contemporary, Urban Street and other styles, embracing a network of schools, academies, community and youth groups, professional artists and venues. Contact: Abigail Viner Email: Tel:
020 7361 2916



REVIEW Sound Moves Where: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank When: Friday 26th March 2010 Who: Music and Dance – The Next Generation Starring: Talented young dancers and musicians from the National Dance CAT scheme and Music scheme.


Sound Moves soon gets underway and the evening programme opens with ‘Le Chocolat’, dancers from Laban CAT give us a glimpse of what is in the chocolate box – intriguing and spiritedly danced to a great Jazz piece. ‘Brush Strokes’, choreographed by Royal Ballet School Graduate Year student, William Bracewell, shows 4 girls and 2 boys of the Royal Ballet School execute the non-narrative piece with style, letting the choreography speak for itself. Yehudi Menuhin School presented a delightful and pensive performance, the result of the Schools Outreach project with primary schools. Youth Dance England working with Art Asia, gives us ‘Titili’, an all girl group brightly dressed in gold and performing a warming Kathak and Bollywood number accompanied by an extraordinary vocalist. 28

See On Pointes feature on the London CAT centres at The Place and Laban to find out more about the scheme (page 10).

INNOVATION DANCE Innovation Dance Ltd provides professional dance training for schools, colleges and pre-schools across London and the South-East. We provide schools and sports partnerships with high quality dance training both within the curriculum (GCSE, BTEC Dance) and as extra curricular classes. To find out more and to see recent performances given by our students take a look at:


the more opportunities you give, the more are taken

The Place CAT students present ‘Anima’ (Latin for life or soul), and is a fantastic mix of contemporary dance and vocals that explore a utilitarian state and society that has become detached from the spirit within. The energy from the nude body stocking clad dancers is powerful as they weave amongst the singers and break away from their confines to walk through the audience. It is clear to see from Sound Moves that the Music and Dance scheme is providing an incredibly positive and beneficial training channel for young dancers and musicians. Jude Kelly, artistic director of the South Bank sums up for us “the more opportunities you give, the more are taken” – arts and culture matter and we can see it flourishing in the 400 very talented young people performing tonight.


We begin the evening with a pre-performance teaser in the Clore Ballroom, a great open plan space within the Royal Festival Hall where tourists combine with parents and dance industry members to make up a lively and ad hoc audience. On Pointe are here in connection with the National Dance Centre’s for Advance Training (CAT) but it is impossible not to mention the musicians here this evening (part the Music and Dance scheme (MDS) – as they blow you away (the percussionists almost literally) with their voices and instrumental skills. ‘A Cat Danced into a Royal Hall of Eastern Place and Saw.’ choreographed by Hakeem Onibudo and performed by the DanceEast Academy, Royal ballet Associates and The Place CAT stood out as the all boy cast beckoned us in to their energy packed piece that used contact and allegro combined with delicate movement that then burst into a b-boy routine. The entire piece was performed to the rhythm of a solo drummer who sported the biggest Mohawk I have ever seen! The Place CAT presented ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ to the sounds of Muse, filling the space with a fast paced and intricate piece that showed off the dancers versatility and strength.

Blaze Burns the Stage


The show that boasts some of the world’s hottest street dancers, Where: B-boys and DJs opens with a wave of colour and sound that lets you know Peacock Theatre, Holborn this is going to be full on from the outset. If you’re looking for a show with a storyline this is not the show for you, if you are on the other hand looking When: for an out and out dance show, with banging beats and every style of street Saturday 27th March 2010 dance you can think of from house to hip hop, breaking to Popping, please take your seat and get ready! Who: Ryan Chappell’s styling of the dancers is straight out of the 80’s with The Street Dance Sensation bold, block colours and high top trainers. Coupled with the strong set design by Es Devlin and topped off with amazing lighting to put any London Starring: super club to shame, this gives you a feel that you are in a club hosting the Tommy Franzen, Lizzie Gough, most elite dance academy’s end of your show. Rowen Hawkins, Ukweli With dancers from all over the world and some of the best known faces Roach & Lil Steph, Mouse and in the dance scene right now, such as Tommy Franzen & Lizzie Gough Machine. (SYTYCD), Rowen Hawkins (Jaxx from ZooNations “Into the Hoods”) and Ukweli Roach & Lil Steph (StreetDance The Movie 3D) the bar is set high along with the audiences expectations. The dancers do not disappoint as they cover routine after routine in the 80-minute non-stop show, yep there is no toilet break people! With the Blaze director Anthony Van Laast and some cast members being responsible for bringing you the ground-breaking 2004 street dance production; Bounce, Blaze was always going to be an explosive expression of street dance. For On Pointe, the star of the show is Lil Steph, her energy, cleanness and execution of every move stood out in a cast of who’s who in the dance The Blaze European tour is on world. For any aspiring dancer, this is the standard you have to aim for. from now until May 22nd.


For more information please visit

b.supreme Where: The South Bank Centre When: 2nd - 4th April 2010 Who: Women from the world of Hip-Hop


Starring: Unity, The Waacktitiners, Retaliation, The Waackers, Septieme Sens and ATATA .


Were they.supreme? Independance and the South Bank bring b.supreme, the UK’s only festival for women in hip-hop, back for it’s 4th year and it is bigger and better than ever. B-girls from around the globe unite together to represent hip-hop culture from street to stage. Friday 2nd April – UK SUPREME Hosted by Kymberlee Jay, the UK night gives us a taster of some of the fine female hip hop talent we have on our shores today. The audiences’ energy is up and as the latecomers, ‘on hip hop time’ find their seats, the music starts thrumming. The Waacktitiners take us back to the LA clubs of the 70’s with an awesome display of waacking – you hear them before you see them as their heels clip onto stage and you know you’re in for something a bit different. These girls are glam and from start to finish the choreography is fast paced and hot. Unity are fierce, these girls own the stage with slick routines and dancers that constantly pull your focus. You are totally drawn in by them. The 3 ladies from Retaliation bring a theatrical performance to the night with strong interpretation and a style that is dope. Saturday 3rd April – International Supreme The intimate Purcell Room gives you an up close and personal feel. The 6 acts demonstrating different styles all under the “Street genre”. The Waackers from LA founded by Kumari Surja (Franki Douglas), 5 stunning ultra feminine dancers, showing Waacking is their life. It was exciting, clear, passionate and very refreshing to see this style done in its true form. Septieme Sens from Paris gave us a dancers view on how dance and music makes you feel, the influences and how the two performers lose themselves in dance. Choreographed by Clara ‘De Paris’ Bajado, the cream of the crop when it comes to house, new skool, old skool and any other form that falls into the street domain. ATATA from Sweden brought popping to the stage HARD! These ladies were not playing and as a dancer I know would of said, “Their hits are from the hood”! With no weak link within the group their routine was dynamic, creative and soaked in style and foundation.





n Pointe would like to introduce you to the Agent’s Area - we have representatives from two of the top Commercial and Musical Theatre agencies who will be working with us to bring you information, advice, tips, hints and the do’s and don’ts when it comes to finding an agent and working within the dance industry whether that’s on stage in a show or on screen in a music video. They are here for you and we will be running Q&A sessions every month, so if you have any questions you want to ask - get in touch by email at:

Byron’s Management has been established for over fifteen years representing clients in theatre, film, television and commercials. The Byron’s team pride themselves on representing extremely talented and professional actors who continue to build on Byron’s strong reputation within the industry. For further information on Byron’s clients and projects the company has been involved with then please visit:

Founded in 2001 by choreographers Stuart Bishop & Charlotte Stevens, Rudeye Agency supplies Choreographers & Dancers for all aspects of the Commercial industry including music Promos, TV, Concerts, Trade/Fashion Shows, Commercials and more. All dancers are hand picked for their talent, professionalism & discipline, they specialise in Jazz, Street Dance, Ballet, Hip Hop, Locking, Popping, Robotics and Breakdance. Stuart’s recent choreographic credits include video’s for Wiley and Kate Nash.

After years of experience in dancing, SuperMalcom has evolved in different street dance styles such as Hip Hop and House. Known as one of the top UK Hip Hop freestylers, he is now a choreographer, dancer and artistic director. His credit includes: Collaboration with Flawless “Move like Michael Jackson” “Dancing on ice” (Teacher for Dr Hilary) “Lets get excited”, dancer for Alesha Dixon “Here come the girls”, dancer for Sugababes.

The first aim of his class is to help people of any age, gender and background to build up their confidence through body expression. Staying in a really enjoyable environment you will learn many ways and techniques to harmonise body movements with music. Pineapple Dance studio Monday 7pm to 9pm: Hip Hop Tuesday 6pm to 7pm: House and 8pm to 9pm: Hip Hop Wednesday 8pm to 9pm: House Friday 8pm to 9pm: House









Breakin Convention Sadlers Wells 1st-3rd May PSY: Sadlers Wells 28thApril - 15th May







Ballet Central Stratford Cricus

Les Ballets C de la B Lilian Baylis studio 5th-7th May








15 Kids take control The Art depot






The Merchants of Bollywood Peocock Theatre 18th May to 5 June




22 Live Vibe Lilian Baylis Stuido




29 RT Dance - Aspire Beck Theatre

Rambert Dance Co. Sadler’s Wells 25th-29th May






PREVIEWS Following on from the praise Rambert Dance Company received in 2009 the biggest name in contemporary dance is back, raising the bar higher as Artistic Director Mark Baldwin prepares his world class ensemble for its spring tour 2010. With RainForest by Merce Cunningham and The Art of Touch by Siobhan Davies set to be the highlight of the season. As part of its spring tour 2010 Rambert Dance Company will also perform The Comedy of Change by Mark Baldwin, Hush by Christopher Bruce, A Linha Curva by Itzik Galili, Tread Softly by Henri Oguike, Don’t think about it by Rambert dancer Miguel Altunaga and Dutiful Ducks by Richard Alston.

Bounce’s explosive Insane in the Brain is a hip hop version of Ken Kesey’s classic novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and was a smash hit at its UK debut in 2008 and then returned for a 13 venue UK tour in 2009. The Swedish street dance sensation is back in the West End’s Peacock Theatre for a third year from Tuesday 8 until Sunday 27 June 2010. In the confines of a psychiatric hospital, breakdance becomes a way of expressing freedom and rebelling against the iron rule of Nurse Ratched, here performed by London-based guest dancer Letitia Simpson (Avant Garde, ZooNation), who prefers to give her patients a daily dose of ballet. Stunning street dance is mixed with anarchic film and an impressive soundtrack featuring Dizzee Rascal, Missy Elliot and Cypress Hill.

Rambert Sadlers Wells Tues 25 – Sat 29 May

The On Pointe review of Insane in the Brain will feature in next months issue.

Bounce Peacock Theatre Tues 8 – Sun 27 June


VISIT WWW.TAG-EM.CO.UK FOR LACES, TAGS AND COMING SOON... TAGEM FOOTWEAR 2010 For more information contact Or call 0845 299 7583 or find us on facebook TAGEM UK

On Pointe issue 1 May 2010  

On Pointe is written for dancers by dancers and aims to bring fresh and relevant information to its readers. With a vision to become the gui...

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