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Move It! The Future...


We decided to brave the hysteria and venture to teen favourite Move It! last week.

One of the best known dance exhibitions for young people, held annually at London's Olympia, Move It! customers are not exactly our target market. But we believe they are the future of dance. We were impressed by the infectious enthusiasm and raw talent of the hundreds of young people who descend on this show every year to perform, bag the latest designer dance wear and Be Seen amongst a growing cutting-edge fashion crowd.
Dance is cool and it has never been more so. Translated to today's young urban crowd, this means aspiring to some of the fantastic talent to emerge in the media in recent years; think Britain's Got Talent's charismatic dance troupes Diversity and Flawless. Both of whom take inspiration from the B-Boy dance of 1970s America's street corners.
The skill and imagination required to master "street dance" which is really a collective term for a number of themes, can't be underestimated. Street dances are dances that evolve between people in a social environment and in theory, as one person comes up with a move that apparently looks good to another person, that other person tries to copy that move. Similar to Chinese whispers, the effect is that the other person cannot absolutely perform that move the same way as the other person, thus leading to the dancer to create their own style or entirely new moves based on it. And this is what we love about it; street dance and dance require imagination, inspiration, dedication and all the other good things we should be teaching our young people.
Street dance may be the predominant theme at Move It! and the preference of its attending crowds but the essence of the show and the aspirations of these talented young people is dance. The fun, sociable side, the fitness benefits, the performance technique and the discipline all translate from salsa to ballroom to tango to line dance to street.
On arrival at Move It! we were swept along in a crowd of florescent Lycra, hi-tops and big hair as coach loads descended from all over the UK. Groups of students delighted in the vibrant displays of (more) Lycra on sale as well as freebies including coconut water and Galaxy bars (a good combination for stamina, no doubt). Performing arts colleges from as far north as Hull were poised to sign up new talented students and dance studios extolled the virtues of their fabulous venues. But the star attraction was the two dance stages: the freestyle stage and the main stage.
The main stage saw a parade of elaborately choreographed group performances, from ballet through to break dance and even played host to stars including Kimberley Wyatt of the Pussy Cat Dolls. The freestyle stage was undoubtedly where the "cool kids" hung out and the host MC took no prisoners; youngsters were called upon to perform a freestyle routine and those who didn't match up were swiftly boo-ed off.
The point about Move It! is that their enthusiastic and aspirational clientele are the Flavia Cacaces, the Ashley Banjos, the Johnny Vazquez's and the Beto Perez's of tomorrow. Dance spans cultures and generations, whether you're a Tanguero, a Kizombeiro or a B-Boy. The energy, commitment and passion is what keeps dance alive and we saw it in shed-loads among theses inspirational young people.