SOME of the top names from the world of street dance visited the Isle of Man recently to give a masterclass to the island’s aspiring young dancers.
The lucky recipients were pupils at the Represent Dance dance school, which concentrates on street dance and is based in Douglas.
David Cowley of the dance school said: ‘The weekend started with a workshop for the senior students, focusing on originality and tools for creativity and finishing off with challenging fitness drills that everyone found very beneficial and inspiring.
‘The next day saw the kids’ beginner workshop, with nearly 40 children aged five to 11 getting the chance to learn the basics from a master of the art.
‘This was a fantastic opportunity for them, as it can be difficult at times for Manx dancers to get access to the right information from the beginning – so they are off to a brilliant start.’
During the sessions, the students were able to learn break dancing from Manchester-based Justin Just-Roc Lie. Mr Lie has travelled around the world practising his art.
Mr Cowley added: ‘He is one of the very best in the business and regularly competes at the top level.’
During his weekend in the island, along with a number of other accomplished dancers, Mr Lie took part in workshops and exchanges with the island’s dance students and at the end commented on what a pleasure it had been.
Mr Cowley said: ‘He said how much he enjoyed teaching the kids here as they were a lot more respectful, disciplined and eager to learn than he is used to, which was a real pleasure.’
For the intermediate students there was a special workshop based on power moves – the most famous of which is the head spin. Acknowledged expert in this technique, William Yuan lent his expertise to this particular session.
‘It proved incredibly challenging, as you might expect, but very informative and the students came away with a much better understanding of how to build up towards these dynamic and impressive techniques,’ Mr Cowley said.
A cypher session brought the day to an end. This involved all the dancers forming a circle and dancing freestyle to the music displaying their most impressive moves. All visiting instructors enjoyed seeing the island and were positive about our young people and how pleasant they are to work with.