The world’s best B-Boys and B-Girls are descending on Paris this summer as breaking makes its debut at the Olympic Games

Pro Dance News – Edition 17-06-24

All the latest news from Dincwear Pro Dancewear.

Breakdancing is set to steal the show in its Olympic Games debut at Paris 2024.

 B Boy Paris

The world’s best B-Boys and B-Girls are descending on Paris this summer as breaking makes its debut at the Olympic Games.

With its roots in 1970s New York City hip-hop culture, breaking (you might know it as ‘break dancing’) is like nothing ever seen before at the Olympics.

The fast-paced and dynamic sport is rapidly rising in popularity across the world and now has the chance to demonstrate exactly why.

Find out everything to know about breaking, including the rules, the favourites for Olympic gold and whether the sport is a permanent addition to the Games…
Why is breaking at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games?

Breaking is the latest youth-focused sport to be added to the Olympic programme as organisers aim to make the Games more inclusive and accessible than ever before.

Other sports that have been added in an attempt to draw a younger audience to the Olympics include skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing, 3×3 basketball and BMX freestyle, all of which will return to the Games after featuring for the first time at Tokyo 2020.

In addition, breaking was selected because it contributes to a gender-balanced Olympic Games, with an equal measure of B-Boys and B-Girls competing in the sport. This is now a key criteria for organisers when determining the Olympic programme.

A test run was held for breaking at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The event was considered a great success and breaking was put forward as a sport for Paris 2024 shortly after.
What are the Olympic rules for breaking?

The breaking competition at Paris 2024 will feature two events — one for men and one for women. In total there will be 32 athletes — or ‘breakers’ — divided up into 16 B-Boys and 16 B-Girls.

They will compete in one-on-one battles, taking it in turns to perform during 60-second ‘throw downs’. Most major breaking competitions have two or three throw downs in each battle, increasing to five in the final.

The breakers are rated by a panel of judges, who are usually respected members of the breaking community. The performances are evaluated using six criteria — creativity, personality, technique, variety, stage presence and musicality.

Technique, stage presence, and creativity collectively contribute 60 per cent to the final score, while the remaining 40 per cent is determined by the other three criteria.

The breaker with the highest score progresses to the next stage of the competition.
What are the main moves used by breakers?

The DJ is a crucial aspect of the sport, with breakers required to improvise to the beat of the music. They will combine three basic elements into their routine — toprock, freeze and downrock.

Toprock refers to all moves performed standing up, while freeze is when a breaker stops in the middle of their performance in an unusual position, such as on their hands or head.

Downrock is the most crucial element, as it refers to the moves performed on the floor. This includes power moves, which are considered the centrepiece of a routine. These acrobatic moves normally involve breakers spinning their whole body on their hands, elbows, back, head or shoulders, and require strength and flexibility.

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Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood to release debut solo album.

Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood to release debut solo album.

Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood has announced a surprise new venture.

The TV personality, who has been a judge on the BBC competition since its debut episode in 2004, will release his debut solo album Revelations: Songs Boys Don’t Sing later this year.

On Monday (17 June), Horwood released the debut single from the record, a cover of Dame Shirley Bassey’s 1968 song “This Is My Life”.

The album features covers of tracks usually associated with female singers. Songs include “On My Own” from Les Misérables, “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from Funny Girl and “Little Girls” from Annie, which Horwood has performed as Miss Hannigan while touring the musical in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2023.

Revelations: Songs Boys Don’t Sing will be released on 18 October. This will coincide with the next series of Strictly, which is due to start the month before.

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Choreographer Akram Khan launches podcast Move to Live.

Choreographer Akram Khan will front a new podcast set to explore “the transformative power of movement” in the arts.

The weekly podcast, Move to Live, will see Khan interview guests including actor Andy Serkis and Royal Ballet principal Francesca Hayward about how movement fuels their creativity and well-being.

Designer Es Devlin, actor Khalid Abdalla and theatremaker Kathryn Hunter will also feature on the podcast series, which is presented by Marquee TV and Tandem Productions.

Available from June 5, the first episode includes an interview with Khan himself, exploring his “concerns for future generations if dance and movement continue to be neglected in the school curriculum”.

Announcing Move to Live, Khan said: “As a dancer, choreographer and director, I’ve made movement my life’s work. I’m fascinated by how the way we move affects the way we live and how the way we live shapes our movement.

“I’ve loved having this opportunity to explore this on the podcast with some truly wonderful guests and hope it inspires others to think more about their relationship to movement and dance.”

The podcast marks the latest collaboration between Khan and Marquee TV, with the choreographer recently acting as a guest curator on the streaming site, on which his first full-length ballet Giselle for English National Ballet is currently one of the most popular dance titles.

The first episode of Move to Live will be available on all podcast platforms and Marquee TV from June 5, with other episodes released weekly on Wednesdays until July 24.

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Protesters denounce cuts to live music by Northern Ballet.

Protesters denounce cuts to live music by Northern Ballet

Protesters clad in Shakespeare costumes have marched on Sadler’s Wells to denounce cuts to Northern Ballet’s live orchestra.

Approximately 25 musicians turned up at the London venue, ahead of the first performance of Northern Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet on May 28.

The Shakespearean tragedy is the first touring production impacted by the company’s move towards recorded music thanks to rising touring costs.

Although Sadler’s Wells audiences will enjoy live accompaniment, subsequent touring locations including Canterbury and Newcastle will not.

Campaigners against the changes include the Musicians’ Union. It organised the protest and says axing Northern Ballet Sinfonia is no solution to a national arts funding crisis. Instead, they are calling for urgent intervention from the likes of Arts Council England to save jobs and safeguard live music.

Demonstrator Mary Gilbert, an oboist, said it felt “necessary” to “take a stand” after working for Northern Ballet for 25 years.

She said: “Those of us protesting have a great sense of pride in what we do. Live music is ballet’s heart and soul – even Shakespeare wrote most of his plays around the performing of music. It is integral to telling the story, guiding the actors and captivating audiences.

“With my job in the lurch and income looking uncertain, it has made for a stressful time when combined with our current economic climate. We believe in bringing the full live ballet to regional audiences in the UK and will be continuing our campaigning efforts to do so.”

Naomi Pohl, general secretary of the MU, commented: “The protest is a statement that we will continue applying pressure until Northern Ballet and Arts Council England agree a realistic funding solution that protects jobs and keeps live music at the heart of Northern Ballet productions.

“Musicians’ livelihoods are on the line – with our data showing that musicians, on average, make £20,000 a year, you can imagine that any negative impact on this income is felt very heavily. It impacts their ability to provide for themselves, their families, and their capacity to invest in their art.”

She continued: “The fear is that this cut is a slippery slope and a recording being used in place of the company’s orchestra is a precedent our members will not tolerate. It isn’t a position we want to be in, we understand the company needs more financial support, and urgently. With a general election announced, this is a key moment for us to make our case and ensure the arts are prioritised in any new government’s recovery plan.”

More than 18,000 members of the public have now signed an MU and Northern Ballet Sinfonia petition calling for a “realistic funding solution” to protect “world-class musicians” at the company.

Northern Ballet has attributed changes to its set-up to “an incredibly challenging financial environment”, with the decision hitting not only Sinfonia players but up to 200 musicians in the reserves pool according to a BBC report last year.

Earlier this year, the company had said it was “actively fundraising and lobbying key stakeholders” to ensure that future audiences across the UK would be able to enjoy “large-scale ballet accompanied by live music”.

A Northern Ballet spokesperson said: “Last year Northern Ballet had to make the difficult decision to enter into negotiations with Northern Ballet Sinfonia and the Musicians’ Union to reassess the amount of live music that could accompany our national tours from April 2024. This decision was not taken lightly but in response to an incredibly challenging financial environment where inflation and rising costs have made our traditional touring model unsustainable. As a Company touring widely with a large number of dancers, musicians and other staff we have been particularly exposed to inflation in all areas of operation.

“Live music remains central to the artistic vision of Northern Ballet and we are working to ensure that our Sinfonia will perform with us on our national tours as much as is possible. However, in an environment where many arts organisations are facing hard choices to ensure sustainability, we will be performing to a mixed programme of live and recorded music in the coming year.

“Since our previous update, we have undertaken additional fundraising initiatives which, alongside other measures, will enable live music to be performed by our Sinfonia for the full tour of Romeo and Juliet in spring 2024 (Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Norwich, London).

“Autumn performances of Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and in Southampton, Canterbury and Newcastle in September 2024 will be performed to recorded music. The tour of A Christmas Carol will be performed to recorded music and the tour of Jane Eyre will be performed to live music from Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

“We are very conscious of the uncertainty and distress these ongoing negotiations are causing for Sinfonia members and the company at large and would like to thank the players as well as the MU for their cooperation during this difficult time. We remain committed to performing to and commissioning new live music for our work and continue to work in dialogue with our Sinfonia and the MU to achieve this.

“We are actively fundraising and lobbying key stakeholders on this issue to ensure that in future audiences in towns and cities across the UK will be able to experience large scale ballet accompanied by live music. The cultural sector in the UK is under extreme financial pressure from many directions and more than ever we would like to thank our audiences and supporters for continuing to stand alongside us, and crucially for continuing to buy tickets to experience our work.”

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BBC Strictly Come Dancing 2024 lineup rumours so far from Hannah Waddingham to Roman Kemp.

BBC Strictly Come Dancing 2024 lineup rumours so far from Hannah Waddingham to Roman Kemp

Strictly Come Dancing won’t hit screens until the autumn, yet talk has already turned to who could be competing this year.

The hit BBC dance competition is busy securing its lineup for its 22nd series and while the official list is still yet to be released, many celebrities are rumoured to be taking part. They will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Coronation Street’s Ellie Leach, who took home the 2023 Glitterball trophy with Vito Coppola.

The confirmed professional dancers are also waiting to be unveiled. Following the last series, there has been speculation over whether Giovanni Pernice will return after former contestants have spoke out against him. It comes after reports he is “too intense” to train and dance with, which emerged following his recent pairing with actress Amanda Abbington.

Who could be competing this year???

Hannah Waddingham
Roman Kemp
Perrie Edwards
Toyah Willcox
Jill Scott
Gino D’Acampo
Louis Theroux
Sophie Morgan
Alan Carr
Rosie Jones
Vicky McClure
Perri Kiely
Tom Malone Jr
Munroe Bergdorf
Tommy Fury
Michelle Keegan
Andrew Ridgeley
David Fishwick

***Strictly has signed up blind comedian Chris McCausland in a new first for the hit BBC show***

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General News & Sighting

  • Principles at leading performing arts institutions have warned that Labour’s plan to impose a 20% VAT tax on private schools could “impoverish the cultural life of the nation” with bursaries and scholarships likely to be hit. (The Stage)
  • Amy Dowden received an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list. Wayne McGregor, resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet, received a Knighthood.
  • The National Dance Awards announced its winners: Tiler Peck won the award for Outstanding Female Classical Performance for her performance in “Turn It Out”.
  • The Stage’s West End ticketing survey found that top-price tickets have risen in price by 9.3% year on year while the average most expensive ticket for plays in the West End has risen by 50% since last year. The most expensive ticket for a play is “Romeo and Juliet” at £298.95 and musical is £303.95 for “Cabaret”.
  • The Birmingham Royal Ballet will make its debut at the Glastonbury Festival on the 30th June. It will perform “Interlinked” on the Pyramid stage.
  • West End Live has revealed the full schedule for this years event at Trafalgar Square in London on the weekend of the 22nd & 23rd of June.
  • Strictly has signed up blind comedian Chris McCausland in a new first for the hit BBC show.
  • The U Dance National Festival of Youth Dance will take place on the 13th & 14th of July in Liverpool.
  • Annabelle Lopez Ochoa has been appointed artist-in-residence at the Dortmund Ballet.
  • “Why Am I So Single” announced full casting for its West End premiere. It will star Jo Foster and Leesa Tulley, with Jordan Cambridge-Taylor and Collette Guitart as alternate leads. The show has choreography by Ellen Kane and Michael Naylor, with Ebony Clarke as the resident choreographer. It opens at the Garrick Theatre on the 27th of August.
  • “The Devil Wears Prada” revealed the complete cast for its UK premiere at Plymouth on the 6th of July. It has choreography by Jerry Mitchell and Gabby Antrobus is the dance captain.
  • From the 2nd of September, Gina Beck will assume the role of Sarah Brown at “Guys and Dolls” at the Bridge theatre.
  • The cast has been set for “Who Do Ya Love” which will premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. It has choreography by Lisa Stevens and Demmileigh Foster.
  • Justin Peck won the Tony Award for Best Choreography for his work on “Illinoise”.

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Future Dance Events News

  • The full casting has been revealed for “Dear Evan Hanson”. The show has choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille and will open at the Nottingham Playhouse on the 9th of September ahead of a UK tour.
  • The Curve Theatre in Leicester has announced the UK premiere of “Muriel’s Wedding The Musical”. The show will be choreographed by Andrew Hallsworth and will run from the 10th of April until the 10th of May 2025.
  • The world premiere of “Wild Rose” will run from the 6th of March until the 5th of April at the Lyceum theatre in Scotland. It has choreography by Steven Hoggett.
  • “Calamity Jane” will tour the UK and Ireland before a West End run in 2025. It has choreography by Nick Winston.
  • The Leeds Playhouse will host the world premiere of “Coraline – A Musical” from the 11th of April to the 11th of May 2025 before the show embarks on a UK tour. The choreography is by EJ Boyle.
  • “Dorian: The Musical” will have its world premiere at Southwalk Playhouse from the 4th of July until the 10th of August. Alfie Friedman will play Dorian.
  • The hit Broadway musical “Something Rotten” is coming to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on the 5th & 6th of August, starring Jason Manford.
  • The Edinburgh Fringe will host the world premiere of “I Wish You Well” – a musical parody based on Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski crash and ensuing legal battle. It will star Diana Vickers and have choreography by Dame Arlene Phillips and Tino Sibanda.
  • “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” is set to embark on a world tour in 2025. The new production will launch in the UK while its West End staging will continue its run at the Piccadilly theatre.
  • The current touring production of “The Wizard of Oz” will return to the West End on the 15th of August at the Gillian Lynne theatre. The cast will be led by Aston Merrygold.
  • The musical “Lizzie” will return to the Hope Mill theatre in Manchester from the 17th of October until the 11th of November. It is directed and choreographed by William Whelton with associate choreography by Yandass Ndlovu.
  • “Mary Poppins” announced a new UK tour. It will star Stefanie Jones and Jack Chambers and have choreography by Sir Matt Bourne and Stephen Mear. The show will open on the 4th of November at the Bristol Hippodrome.
  • “Magic at the Musicals” will return to the Royal Albert Hall on the 22nd of September. Participating in the event so far are: “Hadestown”, “Mamma Mia”, “Six” & “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical”.
  • “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” is set to return for a new tour starring Donny Osmond. It will open at the Edinburgh Playhouse on the 3rd of December. The choreography is by JoAnn M Hunter.
  • “Heathers” will return for a new UK tour opening in Windsor on the 24th of July. The choreographers will be Gary Lloyd and Christopher Parkinson.
  • A stage musical based on Prince’s film and album “Purple Rain” is in the works with producer Orin Wolf.
  • “The Wizard of Oz” has confirmed the full cast for its tour of the UK and Ireland. The choreography is by Shay Barclay. The show will open in Liverpool on the 13th of December 2024.
  • “& Juliet” will embark on a UK tour from the 8th of July 2024. The choreographer is Jennifer Weber.
  • “Some Like It Hot” is coming to the West End in 2025. It will be directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw.
  • Full casting has been revealed for the first UK and Ireland tour of “Aladdin”. Gavin Adams will star with Desmonda Cathabel as Jasmine. Sarah Benbelaid is the Assistant Dance Captain. The show will open in Edinburgh in October.

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Auditions & Vacancies

  • Luail, Ireland’s National Dance Company, is auditioning for dancers on the 24th, 25th & 26th of July in Dublin and on the 21st and 22nd of August in Brussells. The deadline for applications is the 21st of June. For more information: http://www.luail.ie
  • “Six” will hold open casting calls for its 2025-6 cast in Salford on the 19th of June and in London on the 21st of June.
  • Scottish Ballet is looking for 2 female and 2 male dancers. Look at the website for details.
  • Park Chinois in London is auditioning for dancers on the 4th of July. You have to register by the 28th of June at: auditions@parkchinois.com
  • The Lotus Club in Marrakech is looking for dancers. Contact Katie Priest for more details on: casting@katiepriest.co.uk
  • The Central School of Ballet is looking for a Classical Ballet Tutor for male students. You can apply via the company website.
  • Cabaret Rouge is looking for dancers this Summer in St Tropez. Contact: cabaretrouge@live.co.uk
  • ZooNation is looking for dancers for the period of October until December. Visit the website for details.

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Dance Classes

  • Gaz Davis and Abbie Brown are doing the Synergy Dance Intensive on the 14th of August at the Base Dance Studios in London from 12.00 – 4.00 pm. You can email to book.
  • Jazz Peters is doing Commercial workshops at the North Shields studio on the 25th of July and the 8th of August. You can book a place on: jazzpeters@outlook.com
  • Tyra Roberts is doing a Commercial Choreography dance class at John Reed Fitness in London every Tuesday at 6.30 pm.
  • Chris Marney and Kate Lyons of London City Ballet have an Open Ballet class on Thursday evenings from 6.15 pm – 7.45 pm from the 30th of May at: 45 White Lion Street in London.
  • Jenni Inglis, Ellie Fergusson & Chloe Ferns are teaching at the Edinburgh Dance Academy on the 30th & 31st of July. You can book at: hello@eda.scott
  • Gaz Davis offers “The Programme” in August – by invitation only. More more details email: theprogrambygaz@gmail.com
  • Keisha Atwell has a Jazz class at the Dance Box Summer Intensive on the 28th of August. You can book at: http://www.thedancebox.co.uk
  • The Leicester College of Performing Arts (LCPA) has a 3 day Summer Intensive from the 30th of July until the 1st of August from 10.00 am – 3.00 pm. See the college website for further details.
  • Amy Ireland has weekly classes on Fridays at 10.00 am at the Pineapple Dance Studios in London.
  • The annual TGS Summer Intensive takes place this year on the 22nd – 26th of July from 10.00 am – 3.00 pm daily. The dance teachers are: Jacob McIntosh, Leighton Jay Halliday, Charlie Bruce & Jordi Guitart. Email: jordi1962@gmail.com to book your place.
  • Nafisah Baba is teaching a Contemporary class at Pineapple studios on Mondays from 8.15 – 9.45 pm.
  • Keith and Judy Clifton have a new beginners class on Thursdays at the Grimsby Town Hall from 7.30 – 8.30 pm. Contact: keith.clifton@icloud.com
  • Ryan Jenkins has partnered up with Mandy Allen to produce the iD – Company Summer School from the 12th until the 16th of August. For more information contact: info@the-idcompany.com
  • Lizzie McConachie has a commercial class on Mondays at Pineapple Studios from 7.30 – 8.30 pm.
  • Aimee Casey has an Adult Ballet class at Flame Studios in Cardiff on Fridays from 6.30 – 7.30 pm.
  • Lucy Jane Adcock has 2 weekly classes at the Base dance studios in London on Sundays at 11.30 am and on Wednesdays at 10.00 am.
  • Christina Andrea has a Commercial Edge class at Base Studios on Thursdays from 2.30 – 4.00 pm.
  • Beth Ackroyd is doing an Adult Ballet class at the Fresh Ground in Battersea on Thursdays from 11.00 am – 12.00 pm. You can contact Beth on: beth.lauren@live.com
  • Veronika Wiktoria is starting a Street Jazz class every Monday at 5.30 pm at the Base dance studios with Ralitsa Chepisheva.
  • Lil J is offering a sassy Commercial class at the Pineapple Dance Studios on Tuesdays at 4.15 pm. You can book on the Pineapple app.
  • Dominique Marinho is teaching a Beginners Heels class on Tuesdays at Pineapple Studios from 3.45 – 4.45 pm.

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Film & TV

  • The film “Whoever You Are” by Javier De Frutos won the Best Short Dance Film award at the National Dance Awards. The film starred Rae Piper and Paul Chantry.
  • The Festival season is always excellent for spotting pro dancers at work:
  • We spotted Kenzie Hunt, Oluwatosin, Millie Lund & Elisha Ladeza performing with Meghan Trainor at Capital’s Summertime Ball.
  • We spotted the following dancers performing with Rachel Stevens at Mighty Hoopla: Austyn Farrell, Alex Brown, Crystal Hantig, Jo Dyce, Mason Boyce & Danny Coburn. The choreography was by Aaron Renfree.
  • We spotted Zalie Amelia, Curtisha Kruythoff, Emma Nielsenn, Renae Hughes, Lashay Harvey & Kenzie Hunt dancing with Rita Ora at Mighty Hoopla. The choreography was by Kieran D-W.
  • We spotted Billy Roy Sawyer, Emmanuel Kome & Lewis Harrison performing with Louise at Mighty Hoopla. The choreography was by Anders Nielsen and Renae Hughes. The contract was with Mass Talent.
  • We spotted Renae Hughes dancing for Anne-Marie on the Parklife tour.
  • We spotted Ella Goodwin, Jamie Graham & India Hope performing with Chaka Khan. The choreography was by Matt Walker and Jamie Mason.
  • We spotted Lisa Spencer, Lianne Lee May & Lashay Harvey dancing at the Governor’s Ball Music Festival.
  • We spotted the following dancers on the “Britain’s Got Talent Live ” shows: Sophia Turner, Abz Kareem, Darcey Simmons, Gustav Die, Lashay Harvey, Wilson Kuru & Emma Rose.
  • We spotted the following dancers performing with Lenny Kravitz at the UEFA Champions League Final: Ellie Kinsey, Olivia Beckford, Nicole Valverde, Oluwatosin, Tylah Paterson, Mina Neighbour & Pfion Vince. The contract was with AMCK.
  • We spotted the following dancers performing at the D – Day Celebrations: Ella Nonini, Grace Durkin, Rachel Muldoon, Katherine Isles, Kamira Samuel & Chrissy Brooke. The choreography was by Matt Flint and Stephanie Powell Baxter.
  • We spotted the following dancers performing on the latest episode of “Doctor Who”: Bex Leung, Charlotte Bazeley, Chloe Gatward, Honor Roche, Jenny Wickham, Katie Webb, Nicole Alphonce, Oliver Wheeler, Pia Driver, Roseanna Bell, Stan West & Tia Anderson. The choreography was by Jack Murphy and Sean Moon.

Pro Dancer News Published by the Dincwear Pro Dancewear Team.

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