Dancing is right up your street
PUBLISHED: 18:05 07 December 2010
EVERY week in Barking and Dagenham there are hundreds of youngsters popping, locking, breaking and krumping.
For those not familiar with these terms – they are street dancing styles.
The UK may have seen a resurgence in ballroom since Strictly Come Dancing hit our TV screens, but in the borough street dancing is what gets young people excited.
And of course one of the country’s most famous street dancing crews – Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity – was formed in Dagenham.
Since then, the POST has featured numerous stories about talented troupes from the area, which have triumphed in competitions, wowed audiences at events across the country and featured on a host of TV shows.
In March, Fusion Dance School won three age categories at a contest at Disneyland Paris and in October, Street Tag – which trains at Musictek in Dagenham – came second in the National Street Dancing Championships in Peterborough.
Teenager and former Sydney Russell pupil, Claire Hough, landed a place in a professional Barbican Theatre production in July and pupils from Dagenham’s Finch Stage School rubbed shoulders with the stars after performing on Channel Four TV’s The Five O’clock Show in June.
But what is it that draws so many young people to street dancing?
Fay Hough, who formed Dagenham based Kayo School of Dance when she was 18, gives a simple answer.
“Street dancing is so popular because anyone can do it.
“There are so many styles, so even if you struggle with one, there will be another that you can do.
“There is also very little judgment within street dancing– anyone is accepted, it doesn’t matter who you are or what your ability is.”
Fay, 22, says street dance has even helped change the lives of some of her pupils.
“I’ve had kids who had picked up ASBOs before joining the school, but now they are winning Jack Petchey awards.
“That’s proof that street dancing can have a positive effect on young people. And it keeps them fit.”
Asked if Diversity’s fame has made street dancing in the borough even more popular, Fay replies: “Well it’s definitely opened a lot of people’s eyes to street dance.
“Although their style is quite different to ours – it’s more about entertaining, whereas ours is more rooted in hip-hop music and is generally slower. It can be a problem when we are performing as some audiences expect us to do what Diversity do.”
“I would love to see more over-20s start street dancing. I’m actually keen to start an adult street dancing keep fit class.
“Anyone interested should get in touch – it doesn’t matter what your ability is.”
For more information on classes at Kayo call 07912 564 514.