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UNITED WE DANCE Issue No.7 | February | Love to Dance

Welcome to United We Dance

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

In line with the famous celebration of St Valentine's Day this February 14th, we couldn't think of a more perfect excuse to celebrate our love of dance (more than we all do already!) In this issue you'll find features on: why dance is our favourite sport, stories of how dance has changed the world, finding determination & persistence in the professional dance industry with Lizzie Gough, dance inspiration, a round up of the hottest duo videos online & famous couples who found love through street dance!

Scroll on to find out more!

Contents

1. News

2. Why Dance is Our Favourite Sport

3. The Hottest Duo Choreography Videos

4. Using Dance to Change the World

5. How to Achieve Your Dance Goals

6. Couples Who Met Through Street Dance

7. The Professional Dance Industry: An Interview with Lizzie Gough

8. Dance Inspiration for 2019

News

We’re heading to the Netherlands..!

If you haven’t heard the news already, the UDO European Street Dance Championships is back for it’s 9th year! And this time, we’re heading to the Netherlands!

Expect a weekend of incredible dance competitions, inspiring workshops & parties!

This year, there are 2 new competition categories added to the line up - quads and SuperCrews!

Want to know how you can get qualified? Simply click the button below to find a list of qualifying championships near you!

If you don’t have a UDO Championship available in your country, then you have the chance to qualify by video entry here.

Last year, we saw teams from the Netherlands bringing back Over 18 Advanced European & World Champion titles! What country will come out top this year? Let us know what country you are representing on social using #UDOEuros19!

1 month countdown until the UDO British Championships 2019!

Can you believe it? We can’t wait to see the #BestofBritish descend on the UDO British Street Dance Championships for 2019!

With workshops including Chrybaby Cozie and Twist and Pulse, a fancy dress party and a special performance from X factor duo Misunderstood, there will be plenty of to do in your down time from the competition.

Did we mention we’ll be revealing another special music act this Friday 15th? Keep an eye out on our social media channels for the announcement!

Take a look at the highlights from last year's Championships to get you even more excited!

Why Dance Is Our Favourite Sport

We are all here for one thing.. because of our love and admiration for dance. Despite all the countless hours training, travelling to competitions, the feeling of sheer joy and accomplishment makes it all so worth it. What’s more, dance is both an expressive sport and art form that brings communities together.

Here are the top 5 five reasons why dance is our favourite sport (we’re not too biased promise!):

  1. Dance is more that just a sport. With all the various different styles of dance in the industry, they all have one thing in common… they all come with passion. Dancers work extremely hard on perfecting different styles and routines, which gives us a way of expressing our emotions as well as ourselves as individuals.
  2. Dance is unique. Dance is a unique sport as it is classed as two things: first being a sport and second being an art. Dance gives choreographers the chance to express themselves artistically and the end result is always rewarding for both students and teachers.
  3. Dance Improves fitness. Dance is our favourite sport as it gives people the opportunity to improve their fitness whilst doing something that they love. Dance challenges individuals strength, stamina and flexibility, which means dancers are constantly improving their fitness.
  4. Dance teaches teamwork. Being apart of a dance school means working as part of a collective, dancing in a team teaches individuals to work with others cohesively and encourages teamwork amongst students.
  5. Dance is entertaining. Last but not least, dance is one of the most exciting sports out there. Learning new routines to new songs, travelling to different locations to compete in competitions, performing in a team or as a soloist, dance will never get old and will always be one of the best sports out there.

Let us know why dance is your favourite sport on social media using #UDOstreetdance

The Hottest Duo Choreography Videos

Being in the month of romance and love, we couldn’t find it more fitting to show you the best duo choreography videos around. Take a look below ..

Parris Goebel and Jaycee Cook

Parris Goebel is most known for owning and choreographing 3 time world gold medalist act, ‘The Royal Family’. She has now gone on to work with international music artists such as: Nicki Minaj, J Lo and Justin Bieber just to name a few.

Sean Lew and Kaycee Rice

Dance partners Sean Lew and Kaycee Rice have impressed us with every duo performance by telling a story through their detailed choreography. Both only aged 16, their striking stage presence makes them one of the most recognisable duos in the dance industry. Here, they tell a compelling love story through dance for Meghan Trainor's 'After You' video.

Jade Chynoweth and Josh Killacky

Jade (20) and Josh (23) are undoubtedly highly esteemed dancers in the industry. They both dance in spaces such as: Playground LA, IMMA SPACE and Millennium Dance Complex. With Jade racking up over 2 million followers on instagram, these two dancers are ones to watch out for in the future.

WillDaBeast and Janelle Ginestra-Adams

How could we not mention the newly married duo WillDaBeast Adams and Janelle Ginestra-Adams. Both lovers and choreographers, they are known for collaborating together and creating masterpieces that can almost guarantee to gain over 100k views. Check out their artistic take on the famous duet by Lady Gaga and Beyonce.

Want to showcase your duo skills? Check out the 2019 UDO events here:

Using Dance to Change the World

Dance has an incredible way of being able to bring communities from all walks of life together. But did you know just how impactful dance can be in changing & improving lives for the better?

Take a look below at some of the inspiring dance projects changing the World for the better.

Mayibuye - Changing lives in disadvantaged communities through dance

The term Mayibuye, which means 'bringing back what was lost' in Zulu, couldn't be more fitting for this life changing project established by Kumari Middleton and friends.

Mayibuye is a global project which works with disadvantaged young people across the World in South Africa, Cambodia, India, Egypt, Brazil and Australia.

The project deals with young persons in vulnerable & developing communities who may be exposed to: gang culture and crime, cultural conflict and illnesses such as HIV. Mayibuye engages vulnerable young people in dance and allows them to see and promote a brighter future. Their workshops are a safe haven.

The dance workshops, which are delivered for free are also combined with mentoring workshops, to ensure that young people are equipped with both the skills and knowledge to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Mayibuye programmes include: providing classes in schools which are unable to provide arts classes, delivering a self defence hip-hop programme to teach young women about safety at home, online and in the streets and diversity days teaching about cultural awareness.

And in the UK?

UDOIT! Dance Foundation

Since 2014, StreetDance charity UDOIT! Dance Foundation has been engaging, empowering and inspiring young people through street dance by assisting in removing barriers that may prevent a young person from dancing.

UDOIT! aims to ensure that dance is a diversionary tool that helps to: re-engage young people back in to education, assist with reducing offending and re-offending rates, reduce truancy (especially from PE lessons) and provide physical activity for young people to keep them healthy, both mentally and physically.

To be able to achieve this, UDOIT! provide a range of programmes, including: free and reduced free dance lessons in communities and implementing the Street Dance Young Ambassador programme, which gives young dancers the necessary skills to become teachers in their local communities.

How to Achieve Your Dance Goals

Now it's February, you will most likely have set (or be thinking about) setting your dance goals for the year. Both establishing your goals, achieving your goals and motivating yourself along the way can be difficult - which is why we wanted to provide you with our top advice on achieving your goals for the year.

Firstly, let your goals be guided by your aims for the year, whether they’re more personal, or more focused on your dance journey.

Goals do not – and should not – need to be tied in with gaining external validation; it’s all about how you feel about your own progress. We’re often quick to say things like ‘I want to come first at Europeans’ or ‘I want to be crowned a World Champion’ rather than ‘I want to be the best that I can be’, ‘I want my team to collaborate better than ever before’. Ultimately, that’s what your journey as a dancer is about: how you can up your game and develop your own skill and talent.

Once you’ve decided what it is you’d like to work on for the year – whether that’s executing a move you’ve been practicing, performing a new routine with your team, getting creative with a new SuperCrew set, entering a battle for the first time, or simply building your confidence – it’s important that you do your best to stick to them.

A great way to stay motivated and stick to your dance goals for the year is to talk about them with dance friends. You may find it helps to talk through your ideas of what you’d like to achieve, and how you’d like to go about that. While you may have been focused on studio time, a dance friend may encourage you to spend more time on your personal creativity. You may want to work on something you’re already good at, and discussing goals with a friend will help you to pinpoint your weaknesses so that you can work on them. You can check in regularly with each other to see how you’re getting on, and encourage each other when you’re feeling a little down in the dumps.

However, when setting and sticking to your dance goals, remember to go easy on yourself and others. We are always over critical, and dance is no exception to the rule. We notice our flaws, agonize over wrong steps, seek perfection in the mirror.

So, you can’t let this strive to be ‘perfect’ get in the way of your personal development.

You should praise your efforts, rather than your results, as this is what really counts in personal growth.

Let’s break this idea down: if you did a routine perfectly the first time, it obviously wasn’t hard enough for you. If you enter a category and come first every time, you need to think about moving up. If you are nailing the middle row performance, ask for a front row solo and completely mess it up time after time, until you’re getting it right. This is the only way to fully achieve your potential; by challenging and testing yourself, until you’ve broken through to a new level.

Now go and set those goals, check in with friends, and make sure that your goals will take a while to reach. That’s what 2019 is going to be about – unapologetically becoming the best version of yourself that you can be!

Couples Who Met Through Street Dance

Not only is dancing a great way to form team bonds & boost interpersonal relationships, in some cases dancing can lead to romantic bonds! In the spirit of St Valentine’s day, we’ve rounded up the hottest couples who have met through dance .. Cue Cupid ..

WilldaBeast & Janelle

Arguably, the most famous couple in hip hop dance, WilldaBeast & Janelle first met at California’s Dance Carnival. In an interview with Vibe Magazine, even though Janelle first ‘rolled her eyes’ at WilldaBeasts bad boy aura, they hit it off instantly after that.

Since then, the couple have gone on to tour the world together as part of the IMMABEAST dance brand. Together, they have choreographed for the likes of Missy Elliot and Jennifer Lopez and for brands such as Nike. Safe to say, their engagement last May sent their instagram fans into a frenzy & more recently their wedding dance (which documented the evolution of their relationship - amazing!) racked up over 430,000 YouTube views and is being dubbed as one of the best wedding dances .. ever.

Check out WilldaBeast & Janelle’s interpretation of their love story through dance:

Cesa & Lady Venus

A UDO love story to say the least, UDO judge Cesa proposed to Steph Sit on the stage at the 2017 UDO World Street Dance Championships! If you weren’t there to see it, we can confirm it was truly emotional!

More recently, they welcomed their daughter Aurora into the World (see instagram for the ever so cute photos of baby Aurora!). We think Aurora will have the street dancing gene!

Keone and Mari

You will most likely recognise Keone and Mari for their viral dance videos, TV appearances and starring role in Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself music video . Having met at a dance workshop in 2008, the couple have gone from strength to strength in their career. Speaking to A Plus magazine, they are firm believers of how dance is an incredible art form that connects people (we couldn’t agree more!)

Their unique storytelling approach to street dance has taken their career to a whole new level - including the launch of their first dance e-book which combines video, audio and illustrations to tell the story of an elderly woman who loses herself in dance.

Speaking to Dance Magazine, Keone commented: "The reward is you get to do what you love with the person you love — and that's invaluable."

Recently, Keone and Mari announced in an instagram video that they are soon to be parents (Congratulations!).

Here’s a video of the duo at work:

Perfect!

References:

Vibe Magazine - "National Dance Day: WilldaBeast & Janelle talk Inspiring Through IMMABEAST Hip Hop Collective"

Dance Magazine: Keone and Mari Madrid Are Creating A New Home For Dance

The Professional Dance Industry: An Interview With Lizzie Gough

We spoke to Lizzie Gough, esteemed UDO judge and successful professional dancer on how she entered the professional dance industry and her top tips for being as motivated and determined as you can be in achieving your goals.

1. Hi Lizzie. First things first, how did you develop your passion for street dance?

The beauty with street dance is that there are so many dance styles and music choices to choose from, which is great because as a person our choices can change - like street dance it is forever evolving. For me personally this keeps the excitement and passion ongoing.

2. When did you realise you wanted to pursue dance professionally?

I will be honest - I never really thought about pursuing this as a profession, it just kind of happened. I think deep down I always felt I wanted to be in this industry somehow or another and went with the flow of things to try to learn as much as possible and enjoy the progress.

3. What made you want to pursue dance professionally?

As cheesy as it sound’s I think I just kept doing what I was doing because I enjoy every moment and don’t see it as a “job” as such, but as an experience. I never felt that I wanted to do anything else and as there are so many avenues to pursue in this industry it feels right to just keep going even if it gets tough at times and you follow a route you didn’t necessarily expect.

4. What motivates you to achieve your goals?

I like to be productive with my time, especially in terms of being physically active. I like to train different disciplines (not only in dance) so that it keeps my options open to gaining experiences in other disciplines that might benefit street dance - especially as street dance is constantly fusing with other activities.

5. What do you believe is the best way to deal with a set back?

To be grateful that you get an opportunity to reevaluate where you are at and to make yourself stronger and wiser for future projects. We can sometimes be very negative in situations that we can’t control and blame others, however we have the tools to make ourselves a better version of ourselves and with the technology we have nowadays we can find ways to educate ourselves in other areas. Sometimes I believe it is also that the timing was not right and have to believe and trust that with continuing with hard work that something better will happen.

6. What advice would you give to dancers who are looking to pursue their love for dance in the professional world?

Be the best version of YOU. Try and be as adaptable to your surroundings as you can be and open to learning. The industry is so vast and even though times can be challenging you can always find something to work on and enjoy. My general advice is to be as professional as you can as a person as this will help reflect on your career.

7. You recently choreographed a hip hop routine on Strictly Come Dancing. How did it feel to be able to choreograph the first street set on the show & how did you find the experience?

This was an amazing experience to be a part of and I am very grateful to Kate Prince from Zoonation to work alongside Tommy. I have always wanted to be a part of Strictly somehow, however as I am not a “ballroom dancer” as such I didn’t know how this was possible - so when this opportunity came up I was extremely lucky. To create a street dance routine specifically for Charles Venn and Karen Clifton was great and they worked super hard which was inspiring to me as a dancer and a choreographer. The choice of style and music worked well for the first ever "Street Dance Couples Choice" on Strictly and was a great platform for the future on this program. Doing this project really showed me that anything is possible and has given me inspiration for furthering my career.

Catch Lizzie judging and performing at UDO Street Dance Championships throughout the year.

Dance Inspiration…

Whether it’s a regular vlog, an online class, or a social media star you just love, dance inspiration can be found everywhere. Sometimes, this can make it almost overwhelming to choose where to turn for that much-needed inspirational spark.

We’re here to help; here’s our run-down of some ideal channels for getting your dose of dance inspiration.

If you’re after the more social media friendly dose of dance inspiration, look no further than Instagram. Our top picks for dancers to watch in 2019 include B-Girl Roxy, who’s regularly on the competition season to take part and to judge.

On Insta, we’re also loving Boy Blue Entertainment, who’s 2018 show ‘Blak, Whyte, Gray’ took them touring around the world to critical acclaim. ZooNation also fill their social media feed with inspiring dance stories, sharing behind the scenes photos and videos of their groundbreaking hip hop shows.

WilldaBeast Adams’ YouTube channel is full of different dance projects, including his original YouTube series turning unknown dancers into stars. His videos range from original choreography, classes at renowned studio ImmaSpace, routines with his wife Janelle , and even information about how to get involved with his dance conventions across the USA.

Can’t make it to a class with the ImmaBeast faculty? There are still plenty of resources for inspiration and development out there, such as Steezy’s online classes. Their online dance tutorials take you through at your own pace, and showcase all styles of street dance from locking to hip hop.

Talking of a diverse range of styles, Twist & Pulse’s YouTube channel is one not to miss. Their ‘Short Films, Musicals and Original Scripts’ playlist is full of gems, including their Harry Potter-inspired dance movie. They regularly post freestyles to new tracks, and have some hilarious videos where they vlog about their upcoming projects.

What’s your go-to for dance inspiration? Let us know! @udostreetdance

With special thanks to ChainFam dance member and esteemed UDO marketing intern, Zak Coles for his contribution to the pieces ‘5 reasons why dance is our favourite sport’ and ‘Our Favourite Duo Choreography Videos’.

Credits:

Created with an image by Emily Sea - "Yoga practice"

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