United we dance Issue No. 3 | September | Back to School

Welcome to United We Dance

Welcome to United We Dance, your monthly digital magazine from the international world of street dance!

Each issue, we’ll be bringing you dance news, faculty interviews, features, exclusive choreo tutorials, and United We Dance news from across the World.

In this month’s issue, we will be putting our dancers' spin on the standard Back to School theme of September, including features such as; Life as a Dancer in Training, professional street dance training advice, a brand-new tutorial from teachers Twist & Pulse, and interview with dance students-turned-judges Chuck and Chris, and much more!

Take a scroll through...


  1. UDO News
  2. Competition Time #QuadGoals
  3. Grace Robinson .. Life as a Dancer-in-Training
  4. Tutorial Time with Twist & Pulse
  5. Advice .. Professional Street Dance Training
  6. Teaching at Pineapple .. an interview with Shaun Smith
  7. From Competitors to Judges .. Chuck & Chris
  8. Feature .. the Power of the SuperCrew
  9. Upcoming Events .. with Hazel Culliney
  10. UDOIT! Dance Foundation .. "My Story"
  11. UDO Competition Calendar Breakdown
  12. Partnerships

UDO News

UDO World Championships 2018 - a weekend to remember

We can without a doubt confirm that the 2018 UDO World Championships was an unforgettable weekend. Seeing all the incredible talent and passion of over 10,000 dancers and attendees from across the World makes the UDO team proud to do what they do.

We would like to congratulate every dancer who competed and also to every parent, dance teacher and supporter for their commitment, dedication, determination and support which made the World Championships 2018 so special.

Here’s just a few of our top moments from the World Championships:

Finals day!

Judges Assemble for the Ultimate Demo

1V1 Battle Finals

That voguing demo from Lorenzo

We’re saying a farewell to Glasgow after 6 memorable years, and waving hello to Blackpool, England, where the UDO World Championships originally started.

Looking to the 2018/19 competition season ..

In between reminiscing on all the incredible memories made from the World Championships and last years events, we are looking ahead to the 2018/19 competition season - with that tight, excited feeling in our stomachs.

In just a couple of weeks we will be kick starting the 2018/19 competition journey in Scotland and the North East UK, before heading to the launch of the first UDO 2.0 Championship events in Yorkshire ( keep scrolling to find out more!)

In November, dancers from across the UK, Ireland, France and Germany will be representing their countries at the esteemed Six Nations Championships. And for the first time, we will also be welcoming our Asia Pacific dance community to China for the inaugural Asia Pacific Championships, before heading across the pond for the North American Hip Hop Dance Championships, in Orlando, Florida.

It’s safe to say there’s an incredibly exciting competition season ahead and we can’t wait to see your journey as dancers grow and grow throughout the competition year.

What Championships are you most looking forward too? Just how excited are you to get back in the studio? Let us know on social media!

Introducing .. The Under 8 Team Category

You told us in your hundreds in a recent social media poll that you would like to see an Under 8 team category be introduced across UDO Championship events.

Well, we’re pleased to confirm that your wishes have been answered - the under 8 team competition category will be introduced across all events starting from September!

We want to support our emerging young talented dancers and we couldn’t think of a better way to do this than to allow the under 8 team category (dancers aged 6-8) to have their own platform to do so!

Across the competition season, we will be holding regular polls to see your thoughts and opinions on competition changes and additions! We’re always open to new ideas - if you have a suggestion for a category - then let us know.

In the Academy ..

Street Dance Superstars .. heading to academic schools!

UDO Academy are thrilled to announce the launch of their new programme, Street Dance Superstars!

Street Dance Superstars is a fun, child friendly, digital street dance programme for primary school children or children aged 3-11.

Taught by UDO faculty Lizzie Gough and MC Dwayne, each session is delivered with a different theme, allowing your young ones to be immersed in a different world whilst learning fun and simple street dance moves (one episode even involves space!)

Competition Time #QuadGoals

Following the launch of our UDO 2.0 Championships, we are giving you the chance to win some incredible prizes...

Show us your #QuadGoals - to enter, simply like UDO UK on Facebook (or UDO Global on Instagram), and upload a photo or video of your quad with a caption explaining why you love to dance in quads. Make sure you tag us in your posts!

Winners will receive a social media takeover, 4 FREE tickets to a 2.0 event of your choice, an interview at a 2.0 event, AND a meet-and-greet with a 2.0 Judge! What are you waiting for?

Our first 2.0 Championship will be taking place in Sheffield on 7th October - tickets are available here.

Life as a Dancer-In-Training: Meet Grace ...

This month, we caught up with recent Tiffany Theatre College graduate Grace Robinson, who danced for the likes of Dua Lipa and Katy Perry before she’d even graduated. She spoke with United We Dance all about her choice of professional training college, her experience, and advice to aspiring dancers.

There are so many choices of professional dance college, and auditions can be hard to come by! How did you decide which dance college was right for you?

I was about 7 years old when I told my parents that I wanted to go to dance college and pursue a career in dance, and so from that age until I was about 16, my ideas of where I wanted to train changed a lot. I’d heard about several colleges from my dance teacher, and I’d also attended Move It. I heard about Tiffany Theatre College (TTC) through my dance teacher, and I’d also watched them perform at Move It. Every college offers something different, but what drew me to TTC was the family-like atmosphere they had since it is a fairly small college. For me, a smaller college was best as it offered a more one-to-one training, which I knew I’d benefit more from.

Can you talk us through a typical day-in-the-life of a dancer in training?

My day would start at 7am when I’d wake up, have breakfast and do a full face of make up (personally, this is very important if you want to look and feel your best all day!) I’d then get to college by about 8:15, settle in and then start my half hour warm up at 8:30. Lessons would then start at 9 and they would last for roughly an hour and a quarter. I’d have three lessons in the morning, and then two lessons in the afternoon. Each day at college differed. Some days would be more technique-based with jazz and ballet, other days focused more on singing and acting, while other days would be dedicated more so to commercial.

What was your highlight of your time at TTC?

My highlight has to be getting the chance to perform at The Brit Awards twice! I still pinch myself when I think about it- especially when it’s something I never thought I’d get to do before graduating, let alone more than once!

What was the most useful piece of advice you received/most pertinent lesson you learnt?

Always be yourself. Everyone is different and offers something unique. Not everyone will want what you have to offer, however that’s why I love this industry- its subjective and everyone wants something different!

What advice would you offer dancers just beginning their training?

Work hard, know what you want and don’t give up. There have been so many points during my training where I doubted myself and began to forget why I chose this life. However, dance is so rewarding when your hard work pays off. It would be easy for so many dancers to just give up because there will always be someone to replace you, however you must remember why you started and allow your passion to keep you going!

Who is your dream artist to dance for/your dream show to perform in?

Ever since I went to Taylor Swift’s concert in the O2 in 2014, I always thought it would be so fun to dance for her as her dancers just looked like they were having a ball and I’m such a Taylor Swift fan!! However I’d also love to be in 42nd Street as I started tap dancing when I was 5 and it’s always been one of my favourite dance styles. I watched it back in November last year and I don’t think I stopped smiling for the whole duration of the show!

Catch Grace in class at Pineapple, Base, Studio 68, and other London dance studios this September.

It's Tutorial Time!

While we were at the UDO World Street Dance Championships, we couldn't miss the opportunity to learn from the amazing duo Twist and Pulse!

Twist and Pulse have exclusively given our members (you guys!) the opportunity to learn the steps from their Worlds workshop.

Can you keep up with this routine?

Advice: Professional Street Dance Training

September brings with it a new academic year, which often gets you thinking about your next step on the path towards your career goals. For those wanting to go into classical dance – the aspiring ballet dancers and musical theatre performers of the world – it’s an easier choice. Head to a conservatoire, ballet school, or training college.

But for those of us who aspire to work in the street dance industry, deciding on what to do once school is over can feel overwhelming. Finding a dance training opportunity that specializes in hip hop, waacking, locking, breaking, popping, hip hop, and choreography can seem difficult.

In the UK, London is an obvious choice for training in street dance styles, and some of the most well-respected musical theatre colleges now offer training in urban dance.

Urdang and London Studio Centre, for example, now push commercial and hip hop classes. Of course, they still encourage dancers to train in other styles in order to become well-rounded professionals, but the option for specialization is there.

In Manchester, Shockout Academy offers a degree in professional and commercial dance, which allows aspiring dancers the chance to focus their training on the styles they love. Now more than ever, dance training courses are recognising the need to equip their students with the tools to survive in the commercial industry. As street dance styles become more and more popular in the commercial dance world, so these styles enter the professional training studio.

Don’t fancy the rigour of professional training? More traditional universities also offer street dance courses; Kingston University and the University of East London both offer students the chance to study the history, culture, and practice of street dance styles.

Training doesn’t just have to take place at a higher education facility; our esteemed faculty of UDO judges throw themselves into continuous training, and are often seen taking classes themselves. Many teach at renowned studios such as Base, Pineapple, and Studio 68 in London, and encourage aspiring dancers to learn from one another.

Dancers passionate about street styles are also encouraged to seek inspiration from outside of the studio. It may sound cliché, but these styles originated from the streets, from house parties, from clubs, from underground battles. Studying the culture surrounding street dance can be a huge source of inspiration, so make sure that you step out of the studio from time to time.

Do you have a story about the inspiration behind your training? Let us know – drop us a message on social media @udostreetdance

Teaching at Pineapple .. an interview with Shaun Smith

Founded in 1979, Pineapple dance studios in London, UK has been synonymous with celebrity choreographers, dancers and for hosting regular casting calls for the entertainment industry. Famously, Beyonce, Madonna and Kylie Minogue have all used the studios for their rehearsals.

In 2010, life in the studios was turned into a TV documentary featuring Louie Spence and their clothing range has had great success across UK stores, cementing the Pineapple dance brand in mainstream culture.

We wanted to get the inside scoop into what it’s really like to teach at Pineapple today. Cue our interview with resident UDO faculty member Shaun Smith.

Along with dancer credits to his name such as Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, Shaun is a resident teacher at the famous Pineapple Dance Studios in London.

His street and commercial class welcome different ages and abilities to the mix and dancers can enjoy a friendly atmosphere, where they are encouraged to work at a pace that suits them.

Hi Shaun, thanks for speaking with us.

How long have you been a resident Pineapple Dance Studios teacher?

For 4 years now!

Can you describe your street/commercial class and what a typical teaching lesson for you at Pineapple dance studios involves?

I’ve labelled my class commercial hip hop as I like to mix together a lot of foundational hip hop movement with some generic commercial choreography and music. I generally start with a short warm up consisting of simple basic hip hop steps, where everyone can follow along. The aim is to set the atmosphere of the class as a fun and friendly environment, open to all. Within this section I may work on a certain step or short combination which will be involved in the routine later in the class. We then move on to the main part of the class. This is where I teach a piece of choreography to a song of my choice. And every week I come up with a new routine to keep it fresh and new.

Why do you think Pineapple studios is one of the most prestigious dance studios in the UK?

To my knowledge, Pineapple is the longest running commerical dance studio of its kind in the country, and it has been the attraction to some of the UK’s biggest stars and productions as a rehearsal space in previous years. It's really convenient being in central London and it just has that special feel about it when you walk in. Some may find it slightly daunting but I suppose that will always happen when you have such high calibre dancers and classes all in one building.

What advice would you give to your dancers in order for them to grow in their technique and career?

Train hard! There is absolutely no substitution for hard work in this industry. Get to as many classes as possible and train in as many different styles as possible in order to broaden your career opportunities. Some people have different views on this, and many people enjoy being a part of one dance company for a long time and conquering one particular style.
I have personally found in my career that I’ve been able to branch out into many different areas of the industry and experience different types of genres and work settings. This for me has kept my dance career interesting and exciting. Others have focused on one particualr style and been very succesful at that. One is not better than the other, you just have to find out what works for you and what keeps you motivated, because staying motivated when pursuing a career in the industry over a long period of time is half the battle.

What aspect of teaching do you enjoy most?

As well as an enjoying seeing people come to class to learn the steps, it is great to see them leave the class changed as a person. Their confidence increases and they find it helps in all areas of their life. It's such a social art form and not only do you find enjoyment for yourself, but you find a community of people on the same wavelength all pushing towards the same thing. You gain life long friends as well as feeling fufilled.

What's the best part about being able to teach at Pineapple dance studios?

It's always been a goal of mine to teach at Pineapple, and when I got given the opportunity I jumped at the chance. I love being apart of the pineapple community and building relationships with the people who attend my classes and the people that work there. Pineapple is one of the most prestigious dance studios in the country and I feel this has definitely opened different doors and avenues for me during my career.

You can catch Shaun on the UDO judging panel throughout the 2018/19 competition season, teaching at Pineapple and hosting his own workshop tour.

From competitors to Judges: Chuck & Chris!

Ever wondered what it's like to go from competitor to judge at a UDO Street Dance Championship? Chuck and Chris are here to give you an insight into their UDO experience!

Feature: the Power of the SuperCrew

SuperCrew: IMD Legion

With the recent announcement of the brand new category, SuperCrews coming to the UDO competition calendar worldwide, we wanted to give you the low down of this ultimate new category ..

SuperCrews .. what are they?

SuperCrews consist of 18 - 40 dancers competing to a 3 minute track, set by the team.

What are the benefits?

1. Story telling

SuperCrews have the ability to really tell a story or convey a theme through their performance. You can pick any theme and translate this into your performance, making SuperCrew performances both entertaining and inspiring. For example, check out No Time’s storytelling below.. Cue magical vibes ..

2. No age or ability divisions

That’s right, so you can combine teams from your dance school or others to make the ultimate squad.

3. Synchronicity

A benefit of being in a large crew is that when the SuperCrew is in sync, it truly looks mesmerising.

4. Hip Hop inspired Choreo

Is hip hop your favourite style? Well now you have the chance to showcase your choreo to its fullest in the SuperCrew category.

Did we also mention how insane they look?

Here’s another example of a SuperCrewin action:

IMD Legion - UK

If these aren’t Super Squad goals, than we don’t know what is!

A couple more pointers..

  • SuperCrews are a UDO European and World Street Dance Championship 2019 competition category, which means will be seeing a new category of European and World Champions next year!
  • SuperCrew qualifiers will be held at all 2.0 Championships, and at the major 2018 Six Nations Championships and 2019 British Championships
  • The SuperCrew category is starting in the UK this October at all 2.0 Championship events. Head to the button below to find a 2.0 event near you.

From outside of the UK? Keep an eye out on announcements from your countries UDO representative to find out when SuperCrews will be joining your competition season.

Upcoming Events .. With Hazel Culliney

This month, we thought we’d take a look at some of the ways we can give back through dance. The UDO Worlds Championships demonstrated that we can connect and unite people from across the world through our shared passion for dance.

So how can the dance community continue to give back? We chatted to Hazel Culliney, resident teacher at Pineapple Dance Studios and UDO faculty member, to find out how she reaches out to others through dance.

My aim is to bring communities together, through the beauty of art. To create awareness, deeper understandings, and finally to fund a truly deserving cause.

Following a solo trip to Ghana, to explore and take some time for reflection, Hazel met some incredible, inspiring people. One man - Azonto dance teacher Michael E-Flex - was a particular source of inspiration. A man who doesn’t stop giving to others, he focuses his time on helping the youth of Accra, Ghana, teaching those who do not have the means to attend school. Seeing him in action sparked something in Hazel, and she knew that she couldn’t leave Ghana without doing something to help.

Through my experience in Ghana, I created TogetherUnite, which is the name under which all my future events will be held. You can find us on Instagram under @TogetherUniteProjects and contact us via email togetheruniteprojects@gmail.com

And how is dance at the centre of all this? Rather than going down the traditional fundraising path of sponsored walks or fun-runs, Hazel turned to the street dance community. Battles were her first style of choice, and after successfully organizing a dance battle in collaboration with her crew Future Formalities, enough money was raised to send 10-year-old Gideon to school in Accra. Seeing how compassionate and generous the dance community could be, she is now planning another event.

The next fundraising event for Together Unite will be a showcase, held on the 28th October, at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in North London. Tickets will be sold on the door, so why not go along and support the dance community? What’s more, Hazel is keen to showcase young UK talent at the event, and to involve as many young people from the urban community as she can.

I am currently looking for musicians/singers/rappers under 18 to perform on the night. If you are interested, please email me at togetheruniteprojects@gmail.com

Her plans for Together Unite lie in finding inspiration from those around her. “The underlying purpose…is purely to bring communities together, through the love and beauty of art. Art can move and touch not only us, but move and change the lives of other communities. Uniting us together through our own personal experiences and expressions of art.”

At United We Dance magazine, it certainly sounds good to us.

UDOIT! Dance Foundation: Ace's Story

The UDOIT! Dance Foundation empowers their members through dance education, and involvement in sporting activity. This is the inspirational story of UDOIT! team member Ace.

I started learning about street dance culture in 2007, and quickly fell in love. I competed around the UK, placing at UDO Championships all over the country. At 16, I was told by an osteopath that I had a weak hip socket, and would need consistent treatment to keep it at the best performance level. As a naive 16-year-old, I ignored this; I thought that if I wasn't in pain, I was fine.

When I was 18, I realized that my body wasn't cut out to train as a professional dancer. I had to be honest with myself, and spoke to one of my A-level dance lecturers. They were so helpful, and pushed me to do what I wanted to do: I decided not to give up on dance by studying it at University. It wasn’t the professional training at Dance College I had anticipated, but it allowed me to continue my passion.

In 2013, I got accepted onto the ‘BA (Hons) Degree in Dance: Urban Practice’ at the University of East London, in which I gained experience in a range of dance styles, from Hip-Hop to Afro-House. I graduated in 2016, with a dream to continue my studies through a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). I began my PGCE in September 2016, and focused on Dance and Special Needs Education. I started placements in the local college and was loving it. I knew that this path would make me happy.

In January 2017, I was teaching an after-school dance club one afternoon when suddenly I felt something snap inside my hip. For the next 8 months I was on crutches, hardly able to walk. Bounced from specialist to specialist, none of them could tell me what was going on inside my body. I was devastated, and battling against pain every day. I was eventually sent for an MRI, and finally in January 2018 I was given a diagnosis: I had early onset osteoarthritis. By then I hadn’t been dancing for over a year, yet upon hearing the news I just felt so relieved to finally know what was going on.

After 15 months of pain and injury, I refused to let it get the better of me. I attended a course and became a ParaDance UK Affiliated Instructor, in which I learnt to be able to teach dance to learners with Additional Learning Needs, and to wheelchair/mobility aid users. After having been unable to dance for over a year, I couldn’t help but feel that my community was lacking an inclusive dance centre. This was my way of giving my community that opportunity.

I was soon put onto a waiting list for hip surgery, and spent the next few months trying to get prepared for life after the operation. I had the operation on the 2nd of July 2018, and graduated from my PGCE only 6 days later. I may have gone across the stage on crutches, but knowing that this was the start of my recovery, and my new life, was so overwhelming. A week later I was offered a job in a Comprehensive School - I cannot wait to start my new life!

There are so many ways to be involved in dance, even if your plans have to change. You don’t have to give up, because dance really can be accessible to everyone.

To find out how UDOIT! Dance Foundation can support you to achieve your dance goals, regardless of the circumstance, head to the button below.

UDO Competition Calendar Breakdown..

The 2018/19 competition season is well and truly here!

We’ve given you the low down of the championships taking place this year.. Where and when..

2.0 Championships

2.0 Championships are a brand new event coming to the UK 2018/19 competition calendar.

The championships will include: teams, solos, quads and SuperCrew categories as qualifiers for the major championship events!

UK Regional Championships

Our UK regional championships are back! With over 20 Championships coming to a region near you, you can showcase your skills in solo, duo and team categories.

From beginner to advanced categories, we have a platform for you! Keep an eye out for which regional championships will also be hosting exclusive workshops with our UDO faculty.

Major Championships

Our most anticipated events of the year, the major championships are back and bigger for 2018/19! This year we have two major Championship additions - the North American Hip Hop Dance Championships and Asia Pacific Street Dance Championships coming this Autumn/ Winter.

With the Six Nations Championships in November, British Championships in March 2019, European Championships heading to the Netherlands in May 2019 and the most prestigious event of them all, UDO World Championships 2019 returning to Blackpool in August 2019, this dance year is set to be on another level.

International Championships

UDO international family, be sure to check your countries UDO social media and website for events near you.

UDO Netherlands - a full list of 2018/2019 championships are now available to view on the UDO website! Make sure you register for your event of choice on the website!

Competitive Categories

Teams - qualify for Six Nations 2018 and the European and World Championships 2019

SuperCrews - qualify for the 2019 European and World Championships

Quads - qualify for Six Nations 2018 and the World Championships 2019

Solos - qualify for the Six Nations 2018 and the European and World Championships 2019

Duos - qualify for the Six Nations 2018 and the European and World Championships 2019

1V1 Battles - qualify for the 2019 European and World Championships

Crew Battles - compete at the 2019 British and World Championships!

2.0 and Regional Event Breakdown:

South East & East Anglia

South West

North East & North West

Wales & Scotland

In next month's issue...

Next month, we want to keep bringing you the hottest news from the world of street dance.

To honour the emerging talent we are seeing from across the globe this season, we are making next month's issue multilingual. Expect features from Poland, Wales, Korea, France, Germany and Ireland.

Do you have an idea for a feature, article, tutorial, or interview that you'd like to see? We would love to get your feedback: drop us an email at marketing@theudogroup.com

Created By
UDO Marketing Team

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