U.Dance 2017, the UK’s annual youth dance festival, showcased the strength and talent of young dancers from across the country and enabled them to participate in classes, workshops, careers sessions and social activities during a three and half day residential in Birmingham.
Motionhouse Youth performed on Friday 14 July 2017, the first evening of U.Dance performances on the main stage at Birmingham Hippodrome.
We caught up with Motionhouse Youth teacher Aaron who told us what U.Dance was like!
“Being at the Birmingham Hippodrome was so impressive and inspiring for all of us. The stage was huge and backstage even bigger. It was an amazing experience for Motionhouse Youth to be there, on stage, performing where professionals perform. It was a little nerve-wracking to start, but after our tech rehearsal, they really looked at home up there and they filled the stage.
Watching the Motionhouse Youth performance from side stage was overwhelming. They were all so professional and dedicated. They were all in it, present, in the now. It didn’t matter what was going to happen after or what had happened before. They were all together as a team, performing as a unit and looking like they were enjoying every second. I felt nervous, excited, on edge… and then when the music stopped and the lights went to blackout, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of pride. They all did outstandingly. I was so proud of each and every one of them.
For me, my favourite part of U.Dance was watching Motionhouse Youth perform. Saying that I also really enjoyed teaching my workshop on the Sunday. I had people from Hampshire Youth Dance Company, High Storrs and Momentum Dance. They were all so eager and willing to learn. The energy they all brought with them to the workshop and the focus they all had was perfect. It was a pleasure teaching them all.
The Motionhouse Youth dancers took part in old-school hip-hop, commercial hip-hop, kathak, the National Youth Dance Company workshop, and ballet workshops across the weekend.”
Motionhouse Youth parent and U.Dance audience member Pippa said, “It was our first encounter with U.Dance. As visitors and proud parents attending the Friday evening performance, we were blown away by the standard and variety in the performances, and by the warm celebratory atmosphere. The enthusiasm with which the groups supported their fellow performers was great to witness. I will never forget the performance by SLIDE – to me it showcased the essence of dance as an art form and was a celebration of communication, collaboration and community: I cried!”
Here are some Motionhouse Youth dancer highlights. Scroll across to read!
“For me U.Dance was the most incredible experience and one I will never forget. It is hard to pick out my favourite moment as I learned a variety of things from the workshops and shared great experiences with the company. My highlight of U.Dance was performing our piece we had worked extremely hard on, on the stunning Birmingham Hippodrome stage with Motionhouse Youth. This was such a rewarding moment of my amazing time at U.Dance.”
“I enjoyed trying out new dance styles in my workshops and having the opportunity to perform with other incredible contemporary dance groups.”
“Aside from being able to perform contemporary [dance] on the amazing stage at The Hippodrome, I loved getting to try out a hip-hop workshop: it was a new style of dance for me, and wasn’t something I would have normally tried out, but it ended up being a lot of fun.”
“The feeling when you’re performing on stage with the MoHo family is just unbeatable!”
“U.Dance has brought MHY closer as a dance team and we’ve all got to know each other really well. I will remember going out onto The Hippodrome stage to perform and stepping right onto a twig (from the previous dance) and having to dance with it on my foot the whole time!”