by Issie Lloyd, Dance Development Worker
Participating in the Breakin Convention workshops and watching the evening performances was a huge eye opener to other dance styles and international collaborations. Participating in Waacking, Locking, Animation, Breakin and Popping workshops enhanced my knowledge and understanding of each style. Some of the teachers were visiting from France and Sweden, which was interesting as their personal approach to teaching was very different to some of the UK classes I have taken in the same styles. For example, Bboy Bee-Dee who taught the Breakin workshop had a very inspiring approach to teaching where he would show you a variety of top rock patterns and demonstrate how you can develop the same movements into footwork variations. The simplest of approaches, yet something I had never thought of! I have since used this approach when teaching basic Breakin and kids respond well as it allows them to develop new creative pathways from a structured pattern.
As for the animation workshop with Steen-this was very new to me! Not only did I learn about new styles, techniques and creative approaches throughout these workshops but I picked up a lot on teaching skills – some good and some bad. All of which I will now use to influence my individual teaching style and hopefully give my students new knowledge, structure and creative ideas.
The evening performances were filled with a huge variety of dance acts, a mix of dance genres and International/UK companies. It was inspiring to see a lot of dancers who I have met through workshops and events over the previous few years performing on the main stage. I had the privilege of watching Tabu Flo, Breakin’ Nest, plague, Pierre Rigal, Kenichi Ebina, Avant Garde Youth, Morning of Owl, Chicago Footwork and Boy Blue; overall a huge selection of hiphop styles, ages and nationalities. To continue the link – the teachers of the Breakin Convention Workshops were all involved in the performances which made the experience all the more unique.
In the previous years when I have gone to the Breakin Convention I have only been able to watch one evening show and participate in a few workshops due to the costs, but thanks to support from The Arts Council of Wales and Valley and Vale Community Arts I was able to watch all three shows and participate in five workshops, which was absolutely amazing! I was spoilt with new knowledge and felt fully absorbed in the event.