On Sunday 10 year olds Precious, Destiny and Rhia from one of our Community sessions in Alway, Newport had a major achievement. For the past 10 years (as long as their life time!) UDO has hosted a Regional Street Dance competition at Newport Centre. The event attracts over 2000 attendees and sees dancers mainly from Dance Schools attend to try and qualify for Europeans and World Street Dance Championships taking place in 2017.
Dance School dancers train for hours each week where as these 3 just have 1 hour of practice each Monday at their local Community Centre and prior to UDOIT! landing in Newport in January 2016 they were totally inactive.. not just with Dance with all activity! Even though that event takes place each year in Newport Centre, dancers travel from a 2 hour radius to attend and 99% of the time there are not any dancers from Newport.
UDOIT! is working with Sport Wales, Newport Live, Active Gwent, Caerphilly Borough Council, Communities First and the Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner to use Street Dance as a positive opportunity for local young people. Not only for the social and health benefits of activity but also for leadership and volunteer pathways, teaching opportunities and performance / competition opportunities.
The girls danced in a solo category that had nearly 100 other dancers in and although they did not progress to the next round they gave it their best shot! We asked them in the line waiting to go on the floor if they were nervous and all three of them screamed “NO WE JUST WANT TO DANCE!”
Precious and Destiny all did a Duo and in their category there were 45 other dancers. Again, they did not progress to the next round but for them to even have the opportunity to dance in front of that huge crowd on an amazing platform they were “buzzing”!
The girls are taught each week by UDOIT! Development Officer Natalie Davies. Natalie also has her own Dance School in Maesteg “Funk Force” and Natalie herself danced on Sunday – the girls were so inspired seeing her compete! Natalie came first place in Over 18 Advanced Teams for the third year running!
We would love to see the girls competing at UDO Welsh Championships 2017 with even more confidence and maybe even being young leaders!