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One Dance UK pledges support for hip hop and circus artists

Posted on November 24, 2016

EDITEDv2 Anthony AJ 47 Jackson Soul Mavericks Crew UK 3 photo Anthony Jackson 1

The next conference by One Dance UK’s Healthier Dancer Programme has been rescheduled in order to allow for more consultation with artists in both circus arts and hip hop dance. In preparation for this event, artists, healthcare professionals and researchers in hip hop and circus arts are invited to attend a free collaborative forum on November 25 to open the conversation.

In a press statement, One Dance UK, along with partners Stratford Circus Arts Centre and East London Dance, announced that they “have been working closely with a knowledgeable, passionate and committed steering group to develop the content of this conference, Mind the Gap: Train Smart, Improve Performance in Hip Hop and Circus, scheduled for November 25. However, during this development we have gleaned from artists in both circus and hip hop the need to open up the discussion more widely in preparation for such a ground-breaking conference.

“This takes the shape, on November 25, 2016, from 11am to 1 pm, of a free forum at Stratford Circus Arts Centre, which hip hop and circus artists, healthcare professionals and researchers will be invited to attend through One Dance UK. This forum will provide a valuable opportunity for artists to build into the planning process what they need in order to achieve their performance goals, as well as a place to share their experience of the relationship between performance and health, and to address the ever-present issue of injury.

“So why bring circus and hip hop together for this event? The initial interest came as a result of conversations with artists about the diversity of demands performers face in these highly physical movement genres. In both, there is a multitude of constantly evolving styles, where individuality and innovation are artists’ trademarks. In these environments, training and movements pass between artists, or are specifically created depending on an artist’s individual skills or style.

“This results in a diversity of movement styles which each carry intense physical demands on artists’ bodies, and where success relies on pushing physical and artistic boundaries, and calculating risks and challenges.

“The conference will aim to provide opportunities to share good practice among these unique artists. It will also create a space where dance scientists and healthcare practitioners can improve their knowledge of the art forms and needs of the artists, in order to help prevent and treat injury and maintain fitness for performance.

“Based on what is revealed on November 25, One Dance UK will be planning a series of partnership events, including a rescheduled conference in spring 2017, to share further expertise and support for hip hop and circus artists in the places they work, perform, train and share communities.”

Andrew Hurst, chief executive of One Dance UK, said: “We pride ourselves on listening and being responsive to the needs of all movement artists. This is a great example of us being ready to act swiftly to adapt to, and meet, an identified pressing need. We look forward to meeting as many hip hop and circus artists as possible on November 25, as well as anyone else involved in these genres who shares a passion for striving for excellence in performance whilst maintaining optimum health.”

For further information about the event on November 25, contact One Dance UK by email on or by calling 020 7713 0730.


Pictured: Anthony “AJ-47” Jackson of Soul Mavericks Crew.

Photograph: Anthony Jackson.

Jonathan Gray is editor of Dancing Times. He studied at The Royal Ballet School, Leicester Polytechnic, and Wimbledon School of Art where he graduated with a BA Hons in Theatre Design. For 16 years he was a member of the curatorial department of the Theatre Museum, London, assisting on a number of dance-related exhibitions, and helping with the recreation of original designs for a number of The Royal Ballet’s productions including Danses concertantes, Daphnis and Chloë, and The Sleeping Beauty. He has also contributed to the Financial Times, written programme articles for The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, and is co-author of the book Unleashing Britain: Theatre gets real 1955-64, published in 2005.

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