Why Street Dance in Queen’s Park is here to stay!

Ade and Sep truly brought street dance to Queen's Park

A short story One Sunday, Sep and I were training outside Salusbury Primary school and something quite interesting happened. Several families strolled by, and a young girl of about 7 years slowed down her walk as if caught in a spider’s web. Looking through her blue-framed glasses she appeared truly oblivious to her mother’s call. … Read more

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 B-Better

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

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.

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

Izaskun x Tinmantis – ‘Human Being’ dance video

Tinman and Izaskun in Human Being

Izaskun with Tinman

This summer there has been a lot of activity in the ‘downtime’ at B-Better. One of the highlights is the boss’s recent trip to New York. On his travels he shot a short freestyle dance video with Spanish locking and hiphop specialist, Izaskun

They called this collaboration, ‘Human Being’.

Izaskun with the guvnor, Tinman

Catch the video here, with a little something extra for the patient viewers. Tell us in the comments which was your favourite part! Izaskun is an inspiring artist.

Find out more about Izaskun’s presence in Barcelona, check her site Funky Training. We will aim to do an interview  when she comes to England in September.

More on New York

During this trip, Tin was also able to take classes with some of the greatest pioneers in the dance game. Inlcuding Mop Top family (Hiphop), Chrybaby Cozie (Lite Feet) and Jeff Selby (Hustle). This took place at the world famous EXPG studios and in the heart of Harlem (great place to visit!).

Also, as a number of dancers were in the city for ‘Step Ya Game Up’ and other events, Tin got some boys together to shoot a video.  This collective of boy waacking dancers is called The Waacksons! 

The video will be posted below, but for now it’s been blocked by YouTube. Ah, the magic of copyright infringement.

The Waacksons – I'm A Man from Tin Man on Vimeo.

Manifest Nation on London Live at Chinese New Year

MN on London Live

Right after performing for Chinese New Year recently Manifest Nation were interviewed by London Live – the TV channel for our fair city. Here’s a brief excerpt of what was discussed:

We’re working on finding the FULL version to share with you all, but we hope you’ll be boosted by the progress of the group! See more images on all social media with the hashtag #ManifestNation.

Manifest Nation before meeting London Live

Story context

London Live asked the questions which were expected, but for Manifest Nation, the show was particularly challenging. We’ll tell you why:

1) Notice

As mentioned in the video , we only had 10 days to prepare for the event, which is less than ideal. This is amplified by the fact that the audience weren’t there to see us, plus we had other projects on the boil.

Our performance the following year at the National Theatre was 3-4 months from initial meeting to opening night. This is how things should be done.

2) The Stage

The stage we were due to dance on didn’t arrive as there was a traffic incident. This meant we had to dance on the cobblestones at eye-level with the audience.

Now, the eye-level thing was fine, but the cobblestones were a REAL headache to perform on and not one of us felt comfortable. That day we vowed not to dance on cobbles again

3) The Weather

Yes, it’s London and yes, it rains here. The mixture of the cold AND rain with the other elements mentioned just made the vibe…miserable. If you watch carefully, we’re all huddled together for warmth and this was not staged!

In Conclusion

Some valuable lessons were learnt on this show, and our group is always up for performing. If you go back and watch the video knowing these points though, you may sense the bittersweet emotions.

Our involvement with The Big Dance – Thanks, Sadiq!

Welcome to The Big Dance Bus! The Big Dance is a nationwide celebration of dance, led by the Mayor of London in partnership with People Dancing. Also, it is in it’s 10th year! All across the country this summer different professional organisations, community groups and everything in between are engaging in different activities. Here at … Read more

Spotlight on Nefeli Tsiouti and Project Breakalign

project breakalign

The magic of Project Breakalign

Our girl, Nefeli, has been going from strength to strength in her journey to make training safer for dancers. Nef is nominated for a Changemaker  award for her work with Project Breakalign. Stay up to date on her journey here. We are proud!

 

More on Nefeli and the system

project breakalign

Project Breakalign was created in 2013 by Nefeli sMash Tsiouti, because of the need she felt to heal her body.

It’s a method on how to train and perform properly and therefore, preventatively avoid injuries. This is geared towards bboys and other street dancers from different styles.

In our community, there hadn’t been any real guidelines on physical wellness and maintenance. You might turn up at training, train and go home. This sounds straightforward enough.. but without warm up, warm down, stretching and conditioning. Missing these things can have long term effects on the body. Project Breakalign is designed to help us evolve intelligently.

Nefeli herself had a career-threatening shoulder injury and had to take real action to preserve her body. Nefeli says:

The Breakalign Method is a conditioning programme, based on the physiological and biomechanical analysis of the demands in the art-form of Breaking.
As a dancer, you can train the Breakalign Method, to gain the knowledge for safe dance practice, for yourself. Also, to train others in a safer and preventative manner from unwanted injuries.

Nefeli Tsiouti

How can I be down?

You can apply for the Breakalgin method in September 2019 by contacting Nefeli here. As one of our team we are overjoyed to see her at the heart of something which benefits our worldwide community.