FEATURE: Learn the Lingo – A Simple Street Dance Glossary, September 2017

 

If you thought Street Dance was all just “hip hop”, think again!

 

What do you know about Street Dance? Do terms like “b-boy” and “cypher” leave you flummoxed? Are you starting to feel like you’ve lost your swag and are getting left behind as your favourite venues embrace a dizzying array of dance productions featuring new styles? Are you now wondering what “swag” is and whether you ever had any?

Relax, discovering the ins and outs of new dance forms is so much fun. Honestly, don’t worry, I’ve got all the moves covered so sit back and read on for a short and sweet guide to Street Dance lingo!

 

Street Dance. The Soweto Skeleton Movers. Photo by Paul Hampartsoumian).

 

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FEATURE: Graduating from the Royal Academy of Dance with First Class Honours – London, July 2017

 

On Wednesday 12 July 2017, I graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance with First Class Honours.

The Royal Academy of Dance is one of the world’s most influential institutions for dance education and dance teacher training. Founded by an international group of dancers and dance teachers in 1920 to set standards for dance teaching in the United Kingdom, the organisation now operates in 85 countries. Its classical ballet syllabus is taught globally, with over 240,000 candidates taking Royal Academy of Dance ballet examinations each year. Beyond this, an ever-increasing programme of outreach work takes dance into diverse communities, while the Faculty of Education’s research develops knowledge which informs and inspires dance enthusiasts all over the world.

I have graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance’s BA (Hons) Dance Education programme. This varied programme not only equips graduates with the anatomical, musical and pedagogical knowledge and understanding to teach dance but also engages with philosophical, professional and practical issues in the fields of dance and dance education.

 

Royal Academy of Dance Awards Ceremony 2017. Georgina Butler is a First Class Honours graduate of the Royal Academy of Dance.

 

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FEATURE: Embrace Your Inner Étoile – Ballet Papier, May 2017

 

We are all stars but we must learn how to shine

 

Each of us is an individual, blessed with different talents, qualities, experiences and perspectives. Significantly, this uniqueness means that each of us sparkles in our own way (in life as well as in ballet class!). In life, we ought to trust in the idea that dancing to your own tune is the best way to make sure you do not lose yourself while trying to be who you think you should be.

Being me involves a love of both dancing and writing. These are closely followed by a fondness for reading and a desire to discover and disseminate knowledge. When we consider these attributes, my roles as a dance writer, dance student and dance teacher suddenly make a lot of sense!

Ballet Papier is a decorative arts brand created by a mother-daughter team in Barcelona. Together, artist Berenice and her dancing daughter Ambar dedicate their time and energy to creating beautiful products and sharing their love of ballet globally. In my work with the brand, I am honoured to combine my devotion to all things ballet with my writing. Excitingly, my words are now being featured in the brand’s notebooks – a development which started with the Ballet Étoiles collection.

 

Ballet Papier Ballet Étoiles paper dolls and notebook characters.

 

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FEATURE: Happy International Dance Day, 29 April 2017

 

Dance is powerful and International Dance Day 2017 is a day to celebrate that.

International Dance Day was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council to encourage people around the world to share in the magic of dance.

As a dance writer, dance teacher, dance student and dance fan, I am thankful every single day for the opportunities that dance has given me to thrive as an individual. Dance can move us, make us think and connect us to others. It can brighten the darkest days and inspire people of all ages to explore their creative and physical potential.

My own participation in dance classes as a toddler was pure serendipity, yet dance is an overwhelmingly important part of my life. For this reason, I believe that everyone ought to have the chance to learn to dance – and to watch and appreciate dance performances. The International Dance Council promotes International Dance Day to urge people who may not normally engage with dance to strive to do so. Dance has always featured in human culture, but its significance is now often overlooked as an art form, particularly in education.

We need to remember that dance, in all its forms, matters!

 

International Dance Day. Georgina Butler, Adage illustration by A Ballet Education.

 

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FEATURE: Unmasking Giuliano Contadini, currently starring in Northern Ballet’s ‘Casanova’ – April 2017

 

Dancer Giuliano Contadini is taking on the role of the most notorious playboy in history for Northern Ballet’s latest production, Casanova.

Giacomo Casanova is remembered for his luck with the ladies but this biographical ballet, choreographed by former Northern Ballet premier dancer Kenneth Tindall, promises to reveal the complex man behind all those hedonistic conquests.

Undoubtedly a great seducer, Casanova was also a gifted scholar with big ideas, a moral conscience and depressive tendencies. This Italian adventurer lived life passionately and recorded the highs and lows of his existence in vivid detail in his memoirs. It was these memoirs that inspired Tindall to embark on his first ever full-length work and informed his realisation of Casanova as a fully-rounded character.

Leading soloist Giuliano Contadini is the dancer Kenneth Tindall chose to create the role of Casanova on. Like Casanova, Giuliano is Italian. He also has the same initials as the legendary Lothario!

 

Northern Ballet dancer Giuliano Contadini. Photo by Lisa Stonehouse.

 

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