Category Archives: Events

WATCH Incredible Crews Battle it out for the Welsh Street Dance Title

Welsh Street Dance Championships 2013

Welsh Street Dance Championships 2013

Guest judges

Guest judges from ‘Flawless’

Last weekend I travelled down to Newport to see the best street dancers in Wales compete to earn their place in the World Championships 2014 & European Championships 2015. United Dance Organisation saw around 1600 people turn out to cheer on the dancers aged from five all the way up to adults. The guest judges from Flawless even added a touch of celebrity to the occasion. The atmosphere really was phenomenal. After growing up competing in a quiet auditorium where audience members politely clap at the end of routines, it was refreshing to hear the crowd really get behind the dancers. The venue literally erupted when a crew switched up their track to a tune everyone knew. But most of all, I was shocked by the pure originality of the choreography and the outstanding overall quality on show.

But don’t just take it from me, watch for yourselves. Here’s my ‘best of’ compilation for the morning competitors of the Welsh Champs.

Welsh Street Dance Championships 2013: What to Expect

This is quite literally the biggest street dance competition that Wales has EVER seen.

Guest judges and BGT finalists 'Flawless'

Guest judges and BGT finalists ‘Flawless’

Over 2,500 dancers are competing in the Welsh Street Dance Championships in Newport at the end of the month (in front of a crowd of around 1,600 people). And the stakes are high with many hoping to qualify for the 2014 World and European champs in Glasgow and Germany respectively. Win the Worlds and you win an £8,000 prize fund!

I caught up with Kate Lewis, project manager at UDO (United Dance Organisation), the company who coordinates not only the Welsh Champs but also 12 other regional qualifiers across the UK. They are a global company running street dance competitions worldwide across America to Spain and even countries in Africa.

So who are UDO?

And if you needed any more convincing of just how BIG this event is going to be, the judges for the competition will be the members of Flawless from the 2009 Britain’s Got Talent Finals along with some other famous names…

So watch this space for videos, interviews and more straight from the Welsh Street Dance Championships on Sunday 24th November at Newport Leisure Centre.

In the meantime, take a look at previous competitors in UDO’s 2012 European Championships X-Flave. Watch more videos at UDO’s youtube page.

Uniting Two Worlds: Dance Meets Rugby as 500 Community Dancers Take Centre Stage at the Rugby League World Cup Opening Ceremony.

But can this innovative new style that blends the two together really be pulled off in a stadium full of rugby fans?

Rugby League World Cup 2013 ambassador, Gethin Jones at the 2012 conference

Rugby League World Cup 2013 ambassador, Gethin Jones at the 2012 conference

Exactly 1 year, 7 months and 3 days ago, I watched Rugby League ambassador and television smoothy, Gethin Jones announce the 2013 Rugby League World Cup would be in England and Wales. At no point back then did I think any form of dance would be incorporated into a sport where large, angry men slam each other to the ground. Elegance and poise combined with raw and aggressive athleticism… hmm. Strawberries and cream, fish and chips, Ant and Dec- all formidable duos, right? But rugby and dance?! Not got quite the same ring to it, has it? I was sceptical.

That was until I met with the dancers of Stage One Productions. They explained to me that the routine, one they will be performing in front of potentially 57,000 spectators in the Millennium stadium on Saturday,

Dancers Conall, Edie, Eva and Erin with their teacher and Stage One Productions Director, Sandra Gage outside the Millennium Stadium

Dancers Conall, Edie, Eva and Erin with their teacher and Stage One Productions Director, Sandra Gage outside the Millennium Stadium

embraces all kinds of elements from the sport. “One of my favourite parts is when we all come together to do a scrum” explained Conall, one of the dancers. It dawned on me; maybe rugby and dance aren’t so different after all…Both are extremely energetic, need precise footwork and require an exceptional level of dedication for success. Even choreographer, James Wilton (a lifelong rugby league fan) admits his routine is overwhelmingly influenced by rugby ‘moves’. “The dancers sort of throw themselves at each other in the way that rugby players tackle each other”, he says.

The routine will be performed before the opening game between England and Australia. Rehearsals have being going on for months and organisers faced the challenge of coordinating a total of 3,000 dancers. 500 of those were young people selected from different communities around Wales and the South West of England. Suddenly we see a heart-warming analogy emerge. The bringing together of dancing communities mirrors the performance on the pitch; one which artistically unites the competing nations in a sort of dance-rugby pastiche. For risk of sounding sickeningly lovey I will resist the temptation to claim the world is united by a passion for dance…

So, I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong to ever doubt it. I’m converted! Although Rugby-Dance is a style that I don’t think will EVER catch on, what I do know is that this Saturday’s opening ceremony will be an aesthetic explosion where sport blends with dance in one huge world cup firework. But watch it for yourself and make your own decision. Does it work? With the likes of Gethin Jones, ex rugby pro Martin Offiah and Strictly’s Camilla Dallerup and Erin Boag all showing off their own moves, it is a must watch for dancers and sports fans alike.

If you’re still confused by this mishmash of “Rance” or “Dugby” (ok, never going to happen) then check out this video posted by the RLWC 2013 website on http://www.rlwc2013.com/community_initiatives/dance_programme

Happy viewing and keeeeeeep dancing!