Last weekend was a big weekend for dance in the UK. The London Excel Centre held the Move It 2018 event. The event spans over three days and every day is different. There’s performances happening in lots of different places, the main stage, the showcase theatre, as well as the freestyle stage and other locations around the venue. For example, as we were queueing to get in at 10am in the morning a group of dancers performed just before the doors were opened. Here’s what I got up to with my one day pass.
On top of all the great performances that go on a big part of Move It has become the classes that you can go to throughout the day. Move it 2018 had 12 studios, one of these was an audition studio for Royal Caribbean cruises, as well a seminar theatre for talk and panels. Altogether these hosted over 60, 45 minute, classes just on the Sunday alone. I went to 3 of these sessions and had a great time. Two of these classes were contemporary based, and the other was a talk. Both the classes had a different feel. In the first class I took part in we learnt an extract of a solo that was performed to spoken word. The second we spend the lesson taking a real class, ie, warm-up and technical exercises. I feel both these layouts worked well for each different type of genre the classes were for.
Between these classes was an opportunity to explore the rest of the convention. The main venue holds stands for schools, colleges and brands to have an opportunity to talk and to sell their merchandise. There’s a lot of brands selling dance clothes and athleisurewear, which is usually at a discounted price. Being able to speak to schools and colleges in person is definitely great for those nearing the age of professional training. Most often the stalls are manned by their current students who can really tell you a lot about what the course entails, as well as gives you a little 3d view of how the course specifications are actually carried out. More specifically they can tell you if they’re enjoying the course and if it’s what they thought it would be. If speaking to them isn’t enough you can also see colleges and schools performing on both the main stage and in the showcase theatre. Usually a school that is showcasing performances that you enjoy or strive to be a part of, will be offering the training that you need.
The brands involved in Move It 2018 covered a wide range, from well known brands to some completely new and emerging brands. Lots of stalls were offering clothing for both in class and outside of the studio. The biggest market by far seemed to be classwear, be that leotards or two pieces. There were also a few accessory stalls giving you more information about objects that can help with your dance technique. I did buy a few different items to wear to class at a good price. Some brands even brought next seasons trends to give Move It fans a first look and chance to buy that range.
On reflection I definitely didn’t spend enough time this year watching the performances, to the expense that I can’t really say much about them. The main stage was huge and had two screens up on the wall at the back allowing all the action to be seen even if you can’t actually see the stage that clearly. This was definitely great, however, did mean that live performance lost a little element due to the flatness of the screens. There isn’t much to be done about that, but that was just my experience.
I think if I were to go again in the future I would definitely try to extend my stay to two or three days, one to do classes and another to watch performances on the mainstage and in the showcase theatre. I definitely would recommend this event to dancers, I think it’s definitely tailored for dancers just about to get into the industry, either through a performance school, or as a professional. Many of the classes aren’t for the beginner so I think it’s definitely best for 15-21 year olds.