A Street Dance Academy Diary: Looking back on the last year of Elevate Arts
What an eventful year it has been. We would like to take this opportunity to reflect and say thank you before we all take a much-needed break to eat, sleep and be merry – We hope you will do the same! 2021 has been a faced-paced one which has thankfully seen us return to in person classes again and so much more. Have a read of what we have been up to this year:
We started the year with a lockdown…During the first few months we ran our Saturday Street Dance academy over Zoom as well as delivering free Zoom classes in partnership with Acton Gardens Community Centre. Our Zoom social jams were a huge hit and our students (and their parents) loved having fun, playing games and interacting with each other. It definitely helped them bond on a personal level and form and strengthen friendships. We facilitated our first ever virtual Street Dance camp via Zoom too, where we welcomed a variety of professional teachers active in the performance industry to teach. Taking advantage of the additional free time everybody had over the lockdown periods, we continued to work with our young dancers throughout. We produced two short dance visuals with a couple of our students; Lacey and Mason. It was lovely to create something different, try out new skills and have the time to explore, play and refine ideas without having time restraints! Both videos can be found on our YouTube channel.
Later in the year our first ever junior dance teaching assistant was welcomed to our Street Dance Academy. This is a new programme we introduced this year to help our students build up their leadership skills and knowledge. Children who have been training with us for at least 3 years and are 12 or over are welcome to apply to help assist with our younger classes on Saturdays. Mason is our first ever assistant and has been doing a fantastic job with the little ones who absolutely adore him!
We returned to our regular schools for dance sessions within the curriculum and year group clubs, we also got back in the dance studio on Saturdays. We auditioned for dancers for a brand-new crew to represent Elevate Arts at competitions, performances and events and have been working hard since, training them and helping them bond and become a strong unit. Their first performance together was a short piece we put together in a couple of hours for Acton Carnival. We also performed at In Cahoots market, MarketW3 in Acton by Morrisons, Acton Gardens community centre open day and featured in our 1st ever music video by local rapper, Chriz Gabriel. We also held a park jam and a crew fun day which helped rekindle and strengthen those bonds formed during lockdowns.
In the autumn, we held our first ever Halloween party and also added a month of Afro dance to our timetable. Our young dancers competed at their 1st competition in over 2 years, the UK Street Dance Championships in Harrow. We came away with a total of 11 medals; 1st, 2nd and 3rd place! One of our young dancers, Lacey, auditioned for the Lion King in the west end and was accepted into their cub school! She completed a few months of training in dance, drama and singing and returns for her next season of training in March 2022. Lacey also submitted her first ever self-tape for a commercial job and only landed the role! She recently flew out to Bulgaria to shoot; we can’t say much more but are super proud and excited to see the finished product. The behind-the-scenes stuff we were sent was amazing!
To end the year, we performed for Acton’s Christmas Lights switch on and held our Christmas showcase with our first full live audience in 2 whole years. It was a fantastic vibe and lovely for the children to perform to a real audience rather than a camera.
A very busy, fast-paced year in comparison to 2020! We are grateful to still be standing (or dancing!) and really hope things are on their way back to “normal”
Thank you to our students, parents, teaching assistants, the schools and organisations we work and partner with, our amazing teachers who deliver clubs across schools, the teachers who have taught for us at our camp and in person, the organisers of events and managers of markets – thank you for all your support in 2021!
We will be closed from 24th Dec – 3rd Jan. If you have any enquiries, please email us at email@example.com and we will be in touch when we return.
Merry Christmas and Happy new year, see you in 2022!
Lucy and the Elevate Arts street dance academy team