Dance battles headline Collide 2016
Standout pairs take home trophies in 'House' and 'Popping' dance styles
By Martin Voller
Collide, the University of East London's (UEL) annual student-led dance festival, kicked off with a series of "dance battles" at University Square Stratford. The event is a highlight of the Performing Arts programme's multi-day FUEL showcase.
Around 40 first-year students paired up and took to the floor, competing two-on-two in front of friends, family and three official judges: Kenrick "H2O Sandy", Vicky "Skytilz" Mantey and Bly Richards.
The competition was split into two styles, House and Popping. Amirah Gumbs and Sophie Walker danced their way through a series of knock-out rounds to win the House section, while Jack Manley and Kyron Anthony were crowned Popping champions.
Emcee and UEL visiting lecturer Fred Folkes described UEL as “the place to be” for aspiring dancers.
“Every year the modules are getting stronger and better and more people are hearing about them,” he said. “It’s most definitely the place to be if you want to study dance and become a professional.”
The electric atmosphere inside the studio only aided the students who looked more than comfortable performing in front of a capacity crowd, dancing with passion and enthusiasm.
“It was really good to see everyone enjoying themselves,” said Fred. “We’ve been really pushing them throughout the semester, getting them to work hard and getting them to stay focussed. It really paid off today.
The dance battles were assessed as part of a module entitled Locating Dance Cultures, Making Dance Cultures on the Dance: Urban Practice course.