Changing your technique

I’ve spent the past few weeks selfishly investing in myself a little more in an attempt to break my usual weekly routine, in the hope that it would refresh my mind and I can successfully say I already feel 100 times better for it. I’ve reached out to new motivational books; different TV shows (Love Island obviously) and with some huge help from a very driven fitness friend I’ve even added a variety into my newly improved exercise routine.

After speaking with various dancers over the past few weeks, it seems I am not the only one looking to move out of the same old, same old and wanting to make those changes, especially on a professional basis.

So don’t be afraid to change your technique, your routine, and your goals. It’s okay to take someone else’s class who you wouldn’t usually try before. It’s okay to miss out on that catch up Nando’s if there is a late night rehearsal/master class or performance opportunity which has just popped up last minute and it is certainly okay to go to that audition with a suitcase full of quick sassy changes so you feel comfortable with the style and mood on the day if it is going to enhance your change of a big fat YES. Your journey has to begin somewhere.

Switch up your photographers for new headshots if you feel it will improve your casting opportunities. Do, do your research into those who are getting ‘booked and blessed’ to see who they are using, as there are a number of amazing photographers out there ready to work with you. The ‘booked and blessed’ are not your peers and would be more than willing to offer you amazing advice – if you don’t ask, you don’ get!

If your goal is to be a tour dancer, ask yourself this:

Are you studying tour dancers?

Have you taken classes with them lately?

Are you noticing them applying something to their body/performance in which you aren’t doing yourself which you could work on in future?

Do they have a strong relationship with one particular agent or multiple ones?

Have you studied the artist and choreographic team behind the scenes to enhance your knowledge on what the director might be looking for?

If the answer to the above is swaying more towards a no, jump into the performance based classes, which are on WEEKLY. Pull out of your comfort zone, pop any crucial advice down on a note pad and smash those auditions.

Remember, a no isn’t a no, it might just be a not right now. As Mykell Wilson recently said to me – ‘Learn the land, then take it’.

T-Love

@katie_truslove

xx

10 REASONS WHY HDI SUMMER CAMP 2017 WILL BE THE BEST ONE YET!

Guess what guys – it’s only 6 months to go until the BEST UK DANCE CAMP commences!
If you’ve thought about booking on but haven’t quite hit the ‘add to cart’ button just yet, here are 10 reasons as to why you should join us for some quality, fun and inspirational dance training!

1. Invest in YOURself

SOAR UK’s HDI Dance Camp team want to see YOUR progress in YOUR dance training. This is YOUR camp to help YOU and we are so excited to be a part of YOUR own personal dance journey, one small ‘two’ step at a time. 

2. The HDI Summer Dance Camp line up

Well what can we say, you may have heard that the one and only Frankie J is back alongside a number of INTERNATIONAL dance teachers including Kenzo Alvares, Ysabelle Capitulé and Tovaris Wilson. Keep your eyes peeled on our social media pages – @soaruk and @hdidancecamp for more faculty announcements to be released VERY SOON!

3. Dance, dance and more dance

HDI is the UK’s leading Dance Camp with the highest standard of teaching and education. One of the many positives is that you won’t just find yourself dancing in our 21 classes; we pride ourselves in having HDI battles, after parties and there are also plenty of opportunities to take extra master classes to enhance your training too.

4. Your fellow HDI campers

HDI Dance camps have seen years of friendships formed by students from all over the world. Their support for one another is like no other camps, whether this is on the dance floor or off. If you are thinking about joining us by yourself do not panic, as you will come out of this experience with friends for an absolute lifetime. Networking is key!

5. Quality Priced Accommodation!

We appreciate as dancers you can get tired after a long day of killing those lit classes and sometimes you might just want to take a moment to yourself and catch up with some Z’s. We offer single rooms over 7 nights with shower facilities, which of course include your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make sure you check out our HDI early bird prices before it’s too late!

6. HDI’s Showcase

With a super supportive audience this is your moment to take the floor. At the end of an amazing week we welcome you to sign up and share YOUR progress and passion for the last night of our fantastic week together. Whether you want to choreograph a piece, freestyle or partner up with a friend you met on Monday we want you take to the stage and leave us wanting more!

7. HDI’s outstanding faculty

HDI’s faculty are carefully selected each year to ensure you have a versatile timetable. We’ve seen incredible teachers in the past who have worked with the likes of Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and Missy Elliott. We will continue to bring in some of the worlds best international choreographers for UK and European dancers to learn and grow.

8. Questions and Answers

Ever wanted to converse with your favourite choreographer, ask for feedback or discuss industry experiences? Here at HDI we ensure you are given the opportunity to hear from the faculty during a Q&A session to enhance your learning so you can take on board vital information out of classes, which may help assist your dance journey and could lead you into new directions and paths.

9. HDI Opportunities

The rewards following HDI can sometimes be bigger than the journey you thought you were already on. Our HDI students have left camps joining leading UK dance agencies, booking commercials, TV shows and even worldwide tours! Here at HDI we also offer scholarships to our kids, commercial and summer camps.

10. Wondering where to train after HDI’s summer camp?

We’ve got plenty more in store for you during 2017 so head over to our social media pages for further news on our latest workshops, competitions, intensives and international dance camps including Australia and Singapore.


EDUCATION, EMPOWERMENT, ENJOYMENT – HDI SUMMER DANCE CAMP 2017 WE CANNOT WAIT!

T-Love x

@katie_truslove

@soaruk

Q&A live streams are perfect for sharing dance industry insights! 

Oh my it has been a little while since I have written a dance blog!

So seeing as it ’tis the season to be jolly, eat and rest, I have had some much needed time to reflect on what’s been important this past year and what to look out for in the dance industry for 2017. I’ve got a few topics and areas I want to discuss more on but for now I thought I’d talk about live feeds. 

I’m sure like many others I/ we have witnessed or watched some great dance interviews or Q&A’s this year from Deja Vu’s soundcheck, Dancetribe’s YouTube interviews and SOAR UK’s HDI Q&A sessions with their faculty during their Easter and Summer camps. 

Now that social media has progressed even further these Q&A sessions are becoming way more accessible and filling dancers with more and more knowledge from the topics being discussed and shared. 

Maybe due to time differences it seems as though 7-8am GMT is a prime time to catch well known worldwide choreographers/teachers testing out a live stream on their personal Instagram or Facebook accounts. These are also great as it means you can watch these whilst getting ready for work/rehearsals or during your morning commute as you can just listen or if you do have that spare time you can get involved in the conversation too. 

Just this week we’ve seen sensei Tony Tzar return to social media and treat us all with a late night (early morning for us) freestyle followed by live Q&A’s with Hollywood, Kyle Hanagami and Gil Duldulao which have been so beneficial in many different ways.

The timing of these have literally all been perfect as there has been at least one live stream a day and many have been over an hour if you catch them at the right times. From these we have then seen dance students grab their notepads, to take vital notes on the advice and guidance given or we seen them involve themselves with the debates or topics to ask their own questions to gain that vital information they truly require. This must make these live streams really satisfying for both the teacher/choreographer and for the student too as it is guides the viewer to reach their goals within the dance industry and pushes them to take those life changing chances. For many these will be very inspirational. It’s also great as these are happening outside of dance classes and camps for more to view. 

Mykell Wilson stated on one of his instagram stories this week that ‘To say you have nothing is to say you have space for everything’. I think his words fitted in really nicely with all the choreographers overall answers as they reminded many of us that they too had to start from somewhere and worked extremely hard to get to where they are today.  

Success isn’t an over night thing so, by taking risks, moving areas or by working those three jobs initially these will eventually all pay off when provided with an opportunity that cannot be refused.   

I’m a strong believer that if you don’t ask you don’t get and those that can, do. Use these live feed Q&A opportunities to your advantage, ask questions that will benefit you/others and if your question does not get answered this time around ensure you take away the knowledge shared instead…it may relate to something along your path one day. 

Whilst we are on the subject of interviews, myself and Joel Tolhurst had a fantastic opportunity to carpool interview the very talented Creative Director- Brain Friedman which you can watch here: 

https://youtu.be/X2UjlSSBYHQ

Thanks for reading! 
T-Love 

xx

When a dance performance comes around in full circle…

BBE at World of Dance UK in 2011-https://youtu.be/QKwLgJldNSc

Many years ago I remember not being able to go to a WOD UK event as I had to work overtime. I remember being so annoyed that I couldn’t make it as the event had so much support from the dancers I knew and it looked like it was going to be a big deal. It was also a dance event that I wasn’t too familar with from the other UK events I’d either heard of or been to, so I really wanted to check it out what all the hype was about.

At that particular stage in my life I’d been heading to as many dance classes in London and had been studying Boy Blue Entertainment in preparation for my dissertation- yep that’s right, I wrote about BBE for my third year dissertation and it was quite possibly one of the best things I could have ever done in regards to my journey with the dance industry.  I would happily share my findings with whoever would want to listen as I am still learning from the BBE members, especially Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy to this day.

What I find ironic is how I ended up watching their WOD performance from 2011 over and over and over again. It really helped me to analyse BBE’s use of foundations and their choreographic choice’s or positionings for when I was researching for my dissertation topic – Exploring the differences between the foundation of hip-hop dance and televised commercial street dance’. This one video lead me to new routes I really had not expected and I’m so grateful for it.

Fast forwarding to 5 years on, I find it so crazy that I now work for WOD UK as the project assistant on the side of my full time 9-5. What I find funny is how from all the previous dance events I have ever worked/interned/volunteered for I have then found myself over the years booking both BBE and their individual members for numerous performances or masterclasses and continue to do so.

Most of you would not have even clocked this but before WOD UK 2015, Kenrick came to me one evening and said he’d decided to re-create his 2011 WOD piece for their showcase! I was obviously buzzing as thier 2011 set was the one I’d watched on repeat all those years ago. Only Kenrick would think to do something like that and I absolutely love him for it. I would of loved to have seen the rehearsal process as to how you would recreate something crafted previously and give it a whole new meaning when brought back to life.

Unfortunately the 2015 BBE performance is not currently on YouTube to compare with their 2011 set but here is Kenrick Sandy killing his judges solo at World of Dance UK 2015 instead-https://youtu.be/vuJ71GfOZDc

There is also so much in store for WOD UK 2016, I literally cannot wait until the 27th November!
So for now, thanks for being a part of my dance journey BBE 💙

It is honestly amazing where just one dance video or performance can take you…

Thanks for reading! 

T-Love 

xx

Just an observation on crediting both choreographers and dancers

There is currently a huge issue with viral dance videos and social media ‘memes’ not crediting choreographers or dancers in the correct format. 

  • If a photographer had taken a photo to be used in an art gallery, the photographer would be credited. 
  • If a designer was noticed for their recent runway section in the latest Vogue magazine, the designer would be credited. 
  • If an outfit was tagged in a ‘who wore it better?’ article, the brand would be credited. 
  • If an advert was promoting a company, the company would be credited. 

Why is it then so hard for choreographers and dancers to be recognised for their movement? 

If a dance video has been carefully filmed and edited it should be encouraged for an extra 2-3 seconds max to be added in order to credit both the choreographers and dancers. If you watched a movie sometimes actors can be credited at both the end and the beginning, so why are choreographers and dancers not credited at least once?

For the majority of people involved in these ‘viral videos’, the footage has been taken from inside a dance studio, where the dancer has taken class and learns from a well known worldwide choreographer.  9 times out of 10, you will find yourself watching extremely small 30 second snippets of dance classes, where the students have been selected at the end to showcase (in small groups) the choreography which had been taught. Viral views tend to go crazy and shared on all social media platforms, especially if the well known choreographer also features in the video. 

By crediting a dancer/choreographer correctly in a viral video via their name, social media usernames or stage name you are allowing for the person to be fully recognised. For any up and coming or current professional dancer, if they are being talked about globally ‘did you see so and so in the dance video with…’ this could result in them being noticed and booked for professional works, master classes or worldwide tours as an alternative for just attending auditions and booking works through their agents. More and more choreographers/dancers are being recognised from their recent viral dance videos which has such a positive outlook for the arts but if they aren’t being credited in the correct manner and the viewer doesn’t know who they are when watching then what is the point in all that time spent in or out of the studio creating their visions to share with others? 

Music artist labels are constantly taking down YouTube dance viral videos as they ‘disagree’ their songs are being used without their ‘permission’, personally I believe any choreography accompanied by a song and shared worldwide further promotes the artist and would hypothetically encourage music sales? Why they then take these dance videos down absolutely baffles me as it seems those choreographers and dancers are the ones who then get booked to choreograph or dance for those music artists. 

Random people pop out of the woodwork all the time and sue music artists if they believe a ‘beat’ has been ‘copied’, so why can social media pages/accounts create memes or share viral dance videos and get away with not crediting the people who feature in them? If social media pages/accounts do not know who the choreographers/dancers are in a video they should educate themselves and find out who they are and credit them accordingly before posting or sharing.

To ensure credit is added where credit is due more choreographers/teachers really need to spend a little more time before posting a video to include a credit section in their YouTube bios or Instagram posts if they are to film a dance class or share concept videos. Students need to credit the choreographer if they film them or themselves dancing to their choreography in class and all dancers need to connect together to encourage creditation more than ever before. We shouldn’t allow for others to rip off somebody’s hard work, vision and creations by allowing random social media pages/accounts to place their logos onto another persons video. 

If you are reading this and you are a dancer personally, if you go to share a dance video and you know who the person within the video is, please please please credit the absolute shit out of them so all those non-educated, social media meme sharers can finally begin to put a name to a face at the very least. 

Creditation is not about having an amazing view count or a large following on your social media pages/accounts but about principles, education and respect.
#creditthedancers

#creditthechoreographers

T-Love 

x x

Purpose: The Movement

It’s not very often you see an artist completely remove themselves from music videos to focus solely on dance. We’ve seen it fairly recently from Sia, Ed Sheeran and way back when Beyoncé dropped her visual album back in 2013, but Justin Bieber has literally changed the game with Purpose: The Movement. For an artist to place all their faith into one choreographer and for them to then share the creativity with so many others is just incredible. So hat’s off to you Parris Goebel, Scooter Braun and Biebs, you’ve changed the dance scene.

When watching each individual video for Purpose: The Movement, I have really appreciated the created concept by Bieber and the credit which has been given to every single person involved in these videos. If you look on YouTube you will see every single professional dancers names have been listed in the bio’s and not just given a quick plug to check out their Twitter or Instagram pages after the end of each choreographic piece.  Worldwide artists’ need to address their featured dancers correctly, as I am positive this would increase a dancers representation when booking onto future professional works. Agents wouldn’t then be questioning your CV’s or credits before submitting you to a job like ‘ohhhh you’re actually that guy…from that video…with that artist…yeah I remember you…I’ve seen your work’.

Acknowledgment to these featured professional dancers has had a huge impact to the dance community since the release of Purpose: The Movement. Choreographer, Parris Goebel in particular has been featured on social media feeds daily as the general public begin to recognise her previous or current work with the Royal Family, ReQuest Crew and her performances at HHI and World of Dance. Whilst the modern day Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – married couple Keone and Mariel Madrid has truly warmed everybodies hearts with their beautiful duet to ‘Love Yourself’. If you are not familiar with these two then I highly recommend watching ‘Latch’ or ‘Time for Love’.

Over the past 2 years, Soar UK and Dance Adventures have both included a selection of featured dancers within the Purpose: The Movement videos as core faculty to their dance camps/intensives. The UK dance community has really been provided with high intense training by a number of these dance professionals and participants have really appreciated the benefits.

At the age of 21, Emma Portner is in her prime for making an impact to the contemporary dance scene, and as founder for Flock’dance, she is an up and coming artist you will want to keep an eye on for when your next browsing to attend at the latest intensive/camp or workshop. Her teaching skills and fluidity in movement is like no other i’ve seen after studying Contemporary for 3 years at University. She recently posted a tweet in regards to teaching that has stuck with me for days-

‘If you’re given the privilege to teach…you better teach the best damn class that you possibly can. The platform to impact is privilege’.

I’ll just let you allow those words of wisdom to sink in a little…

Featuring in Bieber’s’Life is Worth Living’ and at the age of 21, Portner is in her absolute prime for making such a huge impact to the Contemporary dance scene. The thing that I love in this particular video is that she hasn’t changed her ways for who she has been booked to dance for, she just dances as her and it is a beautiful thing to witness. I’ve heard through the grapevine she is hosting an incredible weekend intensive in the UK in Feb for Dance Adventure’s – be there.

Parris Goebel, returned to Soar UK’s HDI Summer Dance Camp in 2015 and blew every bodies socks off with her class combos and then slayed a cheeky collaboration with the ‘I’ll Show You’ dancer’s, Tony Tzar and CJ Salvador. If you’ve seen the footage of Tony’s class to ‘Don’t’ you’ll know exactly what I mean and if you haven’t stop reading this, get onto YouTube, watch the clip and then come back to me. Once you’ve seen this I think you’ll agree all the Bieber fan girls will be screaming after Mr Salvador once they see him move during the Purpose tour. Okay I’ll be nice – the link is righttttttt here – Tony Tzar’s class at HDI Dance Camp 2015 watch it now…go go go!

Not only has Tony received great recognition from Bieber but has been right by Missy Elliott’s side whilst she makes her come back to the music industry by featuring in the WTF music video with Pharrell.  With constant re-posts from Missy on social media of her WTF rehearsals, it is great to see Tony killing it alongside previous HDI faculty member, Sean Bankhead.

Both HDI Easter Camp faculty members Kyle Hanagami and Denzel Chilsom have too had involvement in Purpose: The Movement, as Hanagami assisted the Madrids for the ‘Love Yourself’ video, whilst Denzel featured next to CJ and Tony in ‘I’ll Show You’. You may have also seen that Kyle, Denzel AND Parris recently went back to the block with J-Lo for the opening of the 2015 American Music Awards. 

Bieber’s brought back HDI and The Pulse on Tour’s faculty member, Ian Eastwood for the ‘No Pressure’ video which also features previous World of Dance UK host – Megan Batoon. For anyone in the dance industry, I am sure it is such a massive compliment and achievement to feature in a video which includes your loved one. After seeing Ian feature in Bieber’s ‘Beauty and a Beat’ the Soar UK team cannot wait to see his work as the assistant choreographer on the Purpose tour.

I do find it amazing how all these dancers have been connected in and out of the Purpose: The Movement videos whether it be from a performance together, booking a tour or being a faculty member for a dance camp/intensive. Parris Goebel has casted these professionals beautifully in order to match the right dancers with the right lyrics or to the meaning behind Bieber’s songs.  It is great to see her share the creativity with so many inspiring people. I’m excited to see how the concept of dance videos will influence other music artists over the next year or so, maybe we’ll see more dancers touring without the major artist singing on centre stage?

 T-Love x x 

@katie_truslove 

@t_lovedance 

@soaruk  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what do you get when you combine…

12 days 

2 dance camps 

15 choreographers 

37 dance classes 

1 camera man 

2vs2 battles 

An agency scouting for talent 

And the man behind it all…Josh Ricketts?

The answer= Soar UK’s HDI Commercial and Summer Dance Camps.

On behalf of anyone who attended any of these 12 amazing days, it is safe to say that both the HDI Commercial and Summer Dance Camps literally blew everyone away, with memories and moments that  will be cherished for an entire life time. 

I could sit here for hours writing away about how incredible each of the choreographers classes were and what they brought to the table- whether it be a certain dance style, key knowledge or inspirational movements but I think they would much rather we discussed certain individuals who stamped their names into our HDI memories. So all I will say to the phenomenal line up consisting of:
Brian Friedman, Dean Lee, Jonathan Bishop, Kimberley Taylor, Tony Tzar, Andye Jamieson, Parris Goebel, Frankie J, Maniek Kotarski, Candace Brown, CJ Salvador, Bam Martin and Willdabeast is THANK YOU. 

Located at Arts Depo’s, ‘Liam’ Pentland Theatre, 14 classes at HDI Commerical Camp honestly flew by. It’s always a pleasure to see so many professional dancers attend to train alongside old and new HDI faces and of course, Brian Friedman NEVER fails to deliver when he’s back in London town. Where else can you say you kick started your Monday morning with an Andye J heel’s class followed by an agency scouting for talent? There’s also a pretty cool Gregg James/James Corden-esque carpool interview featuring myself, Joely T and Brian Friedman which is coming out very soon. 

  

So let’s now fast forward to HDI Summer Camp held at Reaseheath College and picture this…day 1,the first class and the first selected male solo, chosen by Tony Tzar. Have you got that pictured in your mind? So your looking at this guy and you are like okay yeah I’ve seen him around for the entire 90 minutes that i’ve been dancing for. The music starts and it’s as if he’s possessed your eyes, he begins to move and you are instantly drawn in. After an entire 2 maybe 3 seconds, your mind is already asking you questions and thinking ‘sorry what…is this real?’. It was as if he had cast a spell and our eyes were playing tricks on the room because he just moved like no other and to this day THAT solo still can’t be processed.

Now I don’t know how Levent Nyuembo managed to keep going until the end of the solo. The room was roaring with support and disbelief to whatever it was that had just come out of his body, but he did it and then walked off so casually as if he hadn’t just set a bar for everyone who still had 22 classes remaining. This boy/man/beast is hands down my one to look out for over the next year as its like he sets a little button somewhere on his body to BEAST mode and just goes IN.

HDI Summer Camp gives more than just high intense training but also opportunities for dancers to showcase their skills whether it be during the 2vs2 battles, the HDI showcase or by the  HDI ‘Your Shot’ competition. ‘Your Shot’ gave dancer teachers the opportunity to submit videos via YouTube explaining just why they should give back to the camp and host their own HDI class. Now I don’t know who found a certain someone from Singapore or which choreographer on the line up made Zaihar book his flight overseas but, whoever or whatever the reason-they need a pat on the back. Zaihar is by far one of the most humble beings I have ever stumbled across. His knowledge, passion and drive sets off this positive vibe that you just want to exchange with, everyone was just so intrigued to share ideas and movements with him as we were all so grateful he booked his flight to be a part of the journey with us. 

Bringing it back to the UK we then had Dylan Mayoral representing the the ‘Your Shot’ young choreographers and boy he did good. It’s not often you hear of young talent creating pieces that cater for the people who attend to a dance camp, as they wanted to create something that’s going to bring out the best in people’s overall whole performance. It was truly incredible to see a 19 year olds personally spin on HDI being expressed through movement in class.

  

2vs2 BATTLES just went off and that’s all I can physically bring to say about them. Lets just say… there is a reason why Kofi Mensah made #immaEUROPEbeast alongside Stevey Thompson, Jordan Melchor, Ian Harris, Dylan Mayoral and Zaihar as these guys are all ones to look out for in the near future.

I’m saving my my second to last mention for the wonderfully driven Ian Harris who just brought out the best energy in people – has anyone else clocked his reactions on the sidelines to any HDI group selection videos? I’d keep an eye out for those as they are comedy gold!

Before I do go, I just wanted to say that there is a certain HDI team member who sadly never got the chance to put their trainers on and dance for us all one last time. Elliott Campion’s name and memory played on everybodies minds throughout the 37 HDI dance classes and as an outsider to knowing Elliott on a personal level, I found I was so grateful for getting to know him through his ever so strong and beautiful girlfriend Leah Taylor. Tony Tzar provided the most beautiful tribute class on the first night at Summer Camp, which allowed for everyone to support and share the memories of Elliott with one another. This then led us to the car park where we set off lanterns into the sky for one last goodbye. This was a truly beautiful moment that many of us will cherish forever. Elliott summed up HDI beautifully in his ‘Your Shot’ submission so I will leave you with this – 

What can people take from HDI?

” Knowledge first of all, you are there for a week and you learn different styles and you learn from other people so you increase your knowledge. The social side of HDI is sick, it’s worth going just for that because you will have a good time and it’s fun umm and finally I’ll finish with inspiration umm you definately come back pumped and ready to put to practise what you have learnt over the week.”

  

Thank you for reading this….

T-Love x
P.S SPIT A BAR! 😉