Healthy Body

Healthy Mind

DANCE & MOVEMENT

FOR FITNESS & WELLBEING

 

...to our bumper buffet of difference dance styles to check out and dance & movement activities to try, all of which will help keep you healthy and fit!

We have a feast of activities for you to explore over the Easter holidays. In between chomping your Easter eggs, watch, rewatch and try out some moves and grooves from some of the leading dance practitioners in the West Midlands.

Welcome...

Work on your core strength with Highly Sprung Performance Company; boogie your way into Spring with breakdancer and choreographer Jamaal O'Driscoll; and get a wiggle on with dance and movement ideas for early years. This is for everyone - if you are a wheelchair user or have other disabilities start with FrontlineDance company's film and watch StopGap Dance company's fantastic activity films and explanations of how to translate dance moves so everyone can get involved. 

Pick a dance style to go to its section on the page below:

We've asked our guest professional dancers to recommend some top tips for staying healthy - favourite exercises, good things to eat and drink. You'll find these at the end of each section, or you can shortcut to them here:

Chris Radford - Afro Fusion

Jamaal O'Driscoll - Hip Hop

Highly Sprung - Physical Theatre

FRONTLINEdance - Integrated Dance

Wieśniacy - Polish Folkdance

Important - for your safety

Please take care and make sure you exercise safely:

  • Ensure you have a clear space to move in

  • Make sure you warm up first

  • Have a drink nearby so you stay hydrated

  • Remember you are responsible for your own body - be gentle with it!

 

Note: if you engage in our online sessions, you agree that you do so at your own risk; are voluntarily participating in these activities; and assume all risk of injury to yourself. Artslink and its guest artists take no responsibility for any personal loss or injury caused whilst participating in sessions.

Note: many of the video links are YouTube, and may contain adverts and external links which we have no control over. We therefore recommend adult supervision.

 

Afro Fusion

with Chris Radford

Afro Fusion is a mix of African dance styles and contemporary dance.

1. Check it Out

An Afro Fusion duet performed by dancers as part of South Africa’s TV competition So You Think You Can Dance?

Fast-moving Afro Fusion Nash dancers and incredible Zigi ←

TAVAZIVA

Working with young people from Wandsworth using a mix of original soundscape and music with Afro Fusion choreography ↓

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Tavaziva male – a company of young male 13–19-year-olds talking about their thoughts on learning contemporary and African inspired choreography 

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Listen to dance artist and musician Akeim Toussaint Buck who was born in Jamaica and moved to England when he was 10 years old, and how he uses dance to explore and tell his story (YouTube) →

Fumy Opeyemi is a professional Afro Fusion dancer, choreographer and teacher. Check out these dancers performing her fantastic choreography ←

2. Look Local

Chris Radford teaches and choreographs all ages and runs his own company Linden Dance Company which focuses on youth engagement in dance. Their ethos centres on empowerment through championing positivity and individuality and they work in Afro, Contemporary and Creative dance styles. They have many workshop opportunities and dance classes for young people to join and schools to get involved in.

Instagram @linden.dc, Facebook /LindenDanceCompany

See further down for Top Tips for Keeping Healthy from Chris.

‘Creating a place where a child could dream’ was an aim of Birmingham based ACE Dance & Music company. Take a look at this short film which celebrates the company’s 21st anniversary and highlights the combination of Afro Caribbean and contemporary dance and music →

3. Give it a Go

Try these top 5 Afro Fusion dance moves from Chop Daily →

Dance along to this fantastic Afro Fusion legwork film clip →

...or try a simpler version →

Pro dancer TOP TIPS for keeping healthy

Chris

Radford

 
 

hip hop hooray!

with Jamaal O'Driscoll

Hip = Know          Hop = Move

1. check it out

American rapper and producer KRS-one explains the meaning of 'Hip Hop' in this short clip

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Watch these short clips to suss out the difference between Breakin, Poppin, Wavvin, Commercial Dance and Waacking ←

ZOO NATION

Check out behind the scenes of this this Youth Company show ‘Tales of the Turntable’, a hip hop show which tells the tale of a young DJ. A fantastic watch!! →

2. look local

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Meet Jamaal O'Driscoll - dancer, choreographer, performer and teacher from the West Midlands.

Find out about Jamaal’s company at https://www.odriscollcollective.com/

See further down for Top Tips for Keeping Healthy from Jamaal

Watch Jamaal's B-boying dance film for BBC – New Creatives  ‘Inside We Break’ 2020 →

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3. give it a go

Check out the free online sessions where you can dance along with snippets from Zoo Nation shows →

Brush up your street and house dance skills with these dance masterclasses with dancers and TV judge Turbo →

Some simple Hip Hop informed dance moves to follow for younger children →

Want some more urban dance activities? Head to the Dance tent at our Awesome Arts Festival.

Pro dancer TOP TIPS for keeping healthy

jamaal

o'driscoll

 
 

Physical Theatre

with Highly Sprung

Using the body and movement to tell stories and communicate

1. Check it Out

Short film introducing physical theatre →

Some examples of physical theatre ←

Scott Taylor, Artistic Director of Frantic Assembly explains the basic building blocks of creating physical theatre →

Performers dancing in the air? Check out this physical theatre performance where performers are suspended and the stage tips! ←

Teenagers interested in drama:

Listen and watch Vanessa Ewan, Movement Director from National Theatre chats through how an actors movements help build a character in drama →

2. Look Local

Meet Coventry based Highly Sprung - the UK’s leading physical theatre company making work for and with children and young people.

 

Highly Sprung create outdoor and indoor performances that tell stories through movement, gesture and dance. Stories inspired by humanity, science, and the complex world around us.

Find out about Highly Spring at https://www.highlysprungperformance.co.uk and check out footage of some of their shows:

Home: A breathtaking wall walking performance celebrating Coventry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFtRjxl0t1A

 

Urban Astronaut: An outdoor performance exploring the environmental issue of air pollution, one of the most serious problems affecting the environment today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ess6wpVirk&t=4s

 

Castaway: A glimpse into the R&D phase of Highly Sprung’s new show whcih will be performed in summer 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grJOz13KkBo

 

FallOut: A hard hitting performance about teenage mental ill-health.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaYnnfSZyuo&t=17s

 

Transmission: A lockdown collaboration between Highly Sprung and Warwick University exploring Covid-19 and it's transmission.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZlVQsCb2XM

See further down for Top Tips for Keeping Healthy from their Artistic Director Mark

3. Give it a Go

Try this trust activity - trust is an important thing between dancers who work together in physical theatre. It has to be built up slowly by doing movement tasks such as this one →

Try these warm-up activities for actors to get your body warm and ready to go →

Play with these movement games for young children – including balancing balls and jumping like a monkey! →

...and more physical games and activities for children here

Pro dancer TOP TIPS for keeping healthy

Highly Sprung

 
 

Inegrated Dance

with Frontline Dance Company

Moving together - dancing with and without wheels, performers with and without disabilities dancing together creates the exciting world of integrated dance.

1. Check it Out

‘Standing dancer’,  ‘wheelchair dancer’ –  want to know what these terms mean?  Check out these great short films from Stopgap dance company which explain →

Watch the amazing dance piece performed by Candoco dancers and Strictly Come Dancing professionals ←

Candoco Dance Company is one of the country’s leading professional company for disabled and non-disabled dancers. Watch this short trailer film which shows their bold and brilliant style 

Check out 6 dance stories from deaf and disabled dancers in this short film clip ←

Check out Anjali Dance company – a company of performers with learning disabilities – hear their experiences of creating and performing together 

See Amici Dance Company’s work on this short film clip. Amici is a company of performers with and without disabilities  ←

What does a ‘push up’ movement look like for different dancers? See how contemporary dance terms can be translated for a different dancers with differing bodies 

2. Look Local

FRONTLINEdance seeks to break down the barriers for people to engage in dance participation and performance, playing a positive role in integration and community cohesion.

They want the same access and progression routes into dance for disabled children and young people that exist for their non-disabled peers. Whilst striving for disabled dance artists to be viewed in the same professional light as mainstream dancers, choreographers and facilitators.

See further down for Top Tips for Keeping Healthy from their Artistic Director Rachael.

Watch FRONTLINEdance in action 

Based in Worcestershire, Everybody Dance creates integrated dance projects and performances ←

3. Give it a Go

Try out this open class by Stopgap Dance Company which includes stretching, folding, wide and narrow shapes →

Take part in this dance workshop led by dancers from Candoco Dance Company →

Try these classes led by dancers from Stopgap Dance Company  →

Pro dancer TOP TIPS for keeping healthy

FRONTLINEdance

 

Polish  Folkdance

 

with Wieśniacy

Characterised by brightly coloured costumes, beautifully synchronised movements and often accompanied by hearty singing, Polish folkdance is popular across the world, but particularly in the UK, and Birmingham has its very own group, Wieśniacy.

1. Check it Out

Mazowsze (pronounced "mazovsheh") is one of Poland's leading folk song and dance groups. Watch this stunning, high-energy dance routine based on the Oberek dance style, full of spins and lifts and demanding exceptional levels of fitness →

...and if you thought that looked tiring, check out this amazing dance from the Polish highlands, danced by Śląsk (pronounced "shlownsk") ←

2. Look Local

Meet Wieśniacy (pronounced "vieshnyatseh") - Birmingham's very own Polish song and dance group. Find out about how they celebrate Polish culture in the UK, and how they welcome everyone to join them, whether Polish or not and experienced or not! →

See further down for Top Tips for Keeping Healthy from their choreographer Dana.

You can find out more about Polish folklore groups in the UK at

https://www.polishfolkloregroups.co.uk/

3. Give it a Go

Learn to dance the Trojak with Śląsk →

Pro dancer TOP TIPS for keeping healthy

Wieśniacy

 

Mini Movers

 

You don’t need to teach your little ones to dance and move, just join in!

Can you follow your mini mover like this?  Check out James Corden and Jennifer Lopez trying to keep up with the children →

Watch this father and baby moving together – moving and making it up as they go along ←

Jabadao - hear about the 5 different kinds of movement play that are essential for healthy and happy  development 

Small Bodies Big Voices – dance artist Liz Clarke talks about the simple dance activities you can do at home with your little ones ←

18 simple movement activities you can do at home and outside - check out the benefits of movement and dance for healthy development and try these activities →

More information and creative dance activities to try at home from Starcatchers ←

Artslink is a programme by West Midlands Virtual Schools Children in Care Foundation, supported by Arts Connect. It aims to ensure that all care experienced children & young people are able to access high-quality arts & cultural experiences and activities.

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