Manifest Nation at ‘Two Two Steps’

Young bloods get busy at Two Two Steps!

Last month our Junior dancers from Manifest Nation performed at The Urban Dance School show, ‘Two Two Steps’! For five of them, it was their first show for MN and they definitely impressed. Company director, Damien, hosted the show, and it was a great occasion to reunited with one of our long-time partner companies. Enjoy these shots from the event!

An evolution for Manifest Nation

This show was special for our junior dancers as 5 of the 6 of them had never performed for Manifest Nation before. We’d held auditions only 4 weeks prior and the opportunity to perform was a great way to sharpen minds.

The training in the lead up to this event was a bit of a baptism of fire for some of our young artists. Some had never performed before and some had no real knowledge of hiphop form. A couple of our youngsters initially felt that training was like any other dance class, but it was important to straighten that idea quickly, ha.

We used a mix of choreography which included the piece from their audition, a piece from a competition earlier this year and some other new and old material. It was important for us that the youngsters performed pieces with different energetic feelings and moods.

This experience at Two Two steps became a springboard for a summer of events for our young artists. With most going on to secondary school in September, we plan to be a solid part of their evolution. While undergoing a lot of changes, it’s important for us they can take comfort from their experience with MN. Growing up as a teen in this era is harder than ever, so we are fortunate to have dance. Stay tuned to Manifest Nation page here on our website to to stay up to date of where we’re appearing next.

Sarah gets busy at Two Two Steps

‘Inspirational Work in Education’ Award! Nominate us

Nominate us for One Dance UK award

After 15 years in education, B-Better has a chance to be recognised officially for our adventures! One Dance UK, the national body for dance, have opened nominations for their 2019 awards across all sectors of the dance industry, and our category is ‘Inspirational Work in Education’. If you’d like to vote for us, please click … Read more

TinMan’s Birthday Battle! Join on May 9th 2019!

Join us at Tinman’s Birthday Battle To celebrate the birthday of B-Better director, Damien, we’re throwing our first ever dance battle! Tinman’s Birthday battle is oooon. On the evening of May 9th at the newly refurbished Favela nightclub in Camden, attendees can compete in 1 vs 1 breakin’ and 2 vs 2 All styles, with … Read more

Archie Burnett Old Way Vogue Workshop – In Pictures

Archie’s Workshop

Last month we hosted a workshop with Grandfather of The Iconic House of Ninja in Old Way voguing. Here are some pictures from the evening with Archie Burnett! Archie’s workshop was co-curated with Nik from Sports Promotions.

Archie's workshop

Vibes on vibes at Archie's workshop

There are not many pictures or public videos from Archie’s workshop as the man has strict rules. He requires that the artists are present in mind AND body when at his class. This ensures higher engagement with the theories presented and prevents Youtube dancers from thinking they can learn from video. We fully credit Uncle Archie for this stance. *Applauds*

Thank you all for joining us, and stay tuned for our upcoming workshops later this year, where we plan to go bigger!

Thoughts on workshops

Something we have observed from personal experience is losing what is learnt at a workshop. Even with an amazing dancer and teacher like Archie, it’s important to try and retain information learnt in class. Often we can get caught up in the hype of training with iconic teachers, but we must remember what we can gain

A method to address is this is, instead of socialising after the event, video yourself doing all the techniques that you can remember. This way, the things that resonated will show up best on the video.

Another way is to keep a dance book. Any small notepad with some organisation and hand-drawn diagrams will help train more effectively.

We will expand on these theories and more in a special post about effective training, but at least this is food for thought. The benefits of attending Archie’s workshop were that you got to dance with a truly knowledgable artist. Artists like Archie have learned a LOT in their time, and luckily, we don’t have to live all those years to gain the knowledge. In an era such as this where we can actually meet our icons and contact them more easily than before, it pays to have a plan.

Manifest Nation at The National Theatre! (Gallery)

The National Theatre call in Manifest Nation!

We are super-proud to announce that our squad, Manifest Nation, were special invited guests to perform at the National Theatre this week in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Pericles. This is an unprecedented honour for our company and it took time to sink in!

Emily Lim, director of the project, came to see us at a training session, and was immediately hooked . Although we have a lot of talent at Manifest Nation, when someone from outside the community appreciates you, it resonates.

Asked to create a waacking-influenced piece, the guys workshopped a number of ideas and created a truly explosive piece. They adopted the role of a race they called ‘Thanetians’, who could be recognised by their gold outfits, regal mannerisms and hand gestures. The phrase ‘Thanetians’ was a take on our group’s training home, The Thanet.

It was an easy call to make!

Damien, with help from Angelika, created some work we had never explored in this way and the characterisation of our artists had to be on point.

Below is a program which Tinman attempted to get signed by several other guest groups including The London Bulgarian Choir, Acension Eagles Cheerleading team and Archetype Dance Company. The bulk of the cast was made up of non-professionals from around London. The heartbeat of this motivation was called Public Acts. Part of the magic of this production was working with such a diverse cast.

Pericles received 4 and 5 star reviews in a number of publications including:

The Times

The Independent

Radio Times

What’s On Stage

The Guardian

MN on stage at National Theatre

We hope you will enjoy these images of the process, backstage and the performance. Look out for more MN projects across the year calendar! 

Solid as gold at the National Theatre

Our signed program from the Pericles cast at National Theatre

From all of us here on planet Thanet, we wish you a golden day! #MNAllday

No Tears Left To Cry – Manifest Nation (video)

No tears left to cry shoot day!

Our pro squad, Manifest Nation, just released their summer video entitled, ‘No More Tears’. This piece choreographed to Ariana Grande’s ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ by T Damien Anyasi, features Angelika and Mok as our feature characters. We also introduce new faces Esme, Alexandra, Macaulay and Marcella in their first video with the squad. The … Read more

Fun times at Hampstead Festival – The round up

Getting busy at Hampstead Festival

Last weekend we were invited, for the 5th consecutive year, to share what we do at Hampstead Festival. It was probably the most fun year ever!

Featuring a host of our open-class students, our professional performance company, Manifest Nation, and the Hampstead public, we shared classes, performances and Hampstead’s longest ‘Soul Train Line’! 

Here are some highlights from our wonderful weekend..

Man like Mok at Hampstead Festival

Our adult squad at Hampstead Festival

The squad lined up at Hampstead Festival

The heat brought at Hampstead Festival

Tinman speaks at Hampstead Festival

We’d like to thank all those that joined us, and for more footage, check this Instagram post !

Why we love a festival

We love events like Hampstead Festival because we can really communicate with the public. Although, we put out fliers and our online presence is strong, there really is no substitute. Connecting with an audience and teaching public workshops is how to really show what we do.

Camden is rife with summer events and many can be found here. We applied for several of these and you can join us at the show!

Some times we are only permitted to perform. What’s great about performance is that our open class students can also participate. Periodically we create choreography for performance in our open classes and festivals are the ideal platform. At B-Better we appreciate that people come to learn for different reasons, and performance may be one! Although we love performing there is just as much fun to be had at..

A Workshop

Teaching the general public from the stage or at eye level has yielded amazing results for us. We take great pleasure in sharing our knowledge with a mixed audience. The joy of events like Hampstead Festival is that there is a dearth of ages and demographics. Our workshop may end in a freestyle or other participatory activity, and that’s what raises a smile.

Combining performance with interactive activity underpins our summer and we look forward to seeing YOU this season!

Have yourself a B-Better Christmas! (Tinsel limbo optional)

B-Better Christmas in full effect

B-Better Christmas cheer!

To celebrate B-Better Christmas this year and the end of an amazing season, we asked the junior dancers of our professional company, Manifest Nation, to choreograph our first Christmas video. If you’d been there, you woulda loved it!

Under the artistic direction of Damien and camera skills of Tru, the results are certain to put a smile on your face. We look forward to creating more memories in the new year and want to thank all of our students and supporters for being part of the joy.

B-Better Christmas in full effect

The Process

We have a great relationship with Camden Market, so we asked for a small favour! Our monthly public dance jam, Electric Slide, was held in the market but we needed a space with a bit more personality. If you’ve ever been to Camden Market you’ll know it’s rife with interesting spaces and locations.

Our younger dancers were tasked with creating a piece of choreography for themselves and the rest of Manifest Nation. This request was met with a mix of excitement and worry initially, but they had little choice! 🙂

Internally, the object of this was to give them some responsibility and assess their sense of teamwork. M-Rain was assigned the cane choreography whilst the rest of the team, lead by Ellie and Dyal, the chorus.

Living it up for a B-Better Christmas

The Shoot

No, not the dance of the of the same name – the actual filming process!

Fortunately, the lighting in the room needed no augmentation and the team were MOSTLY well rehearsed. Tru, Jas and Tin took turns behind the camera and directing, and the storyboard was followed closely. Total time on set was about 4 hours, and as you can see we are pretty happy with results.

B-Better Christmas shoot in progress

Extra Footage

The ice skating scenes and restaurant scenes are from our annual trip to Alexandra Palace. This trip is open to all students, friends and family which truly reflects the spirit of the season.

Below you can finally enjoy the full video. Leave us a comment below on your favourite aspect!

Manifest Nation – 2nd at World Crew Battle!

What is World Crew Battle? In October 2017, some of our adult dancers from our professional company, Manifest Nation, competed at the World Crew Battle event in Deptford, London. This was the London heat, sponsored by Swatch, and was unlike any other event of recent time. The winners of the event had the opportunity to … Read more