Local dancers from London took to the stage for Step into Dance's Battle 2024

Local dancers from London took to the stage for Step into Dance’s Battle 2024

On Saturday 27 January 2024 young dancers from London participated in Battle, an energetic and dynamic hip hop dance event organised by Step into Dance.

Battle is an annual celebration of hip hop dance organised by Step into Dance, the UK’s largest inclusive dance programme run by the Royal Academy of Dance and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The event provides the opportunity for young dancers to come together and share their passion for dance, all the while battling it out in front of their friends and a rapturous audience.

This year’s high energy event took place at Old Town Hall in Stratford London, where dancers from around London took part in a day of workshops and showcases.

Young dancers also participated in 1v1, 2v2 and crew dance battles to be crowned champions. All battles were performed in front of a judging panel featuring Bgirl Roxy, Chris Alozie and previous Battle winner, Caine Harrison.

Winners of the 1v1, 2v2 and crew dance battles included:

1v1 Beginner: Malakhi Best, Age 17 (City & Islington College), Islington

1v1 Experienced: Mia Wisniewska, Age 15 (The Norwood School), Lambeth

1v1 External: Tyler Alexis-Ward, Age 15 (Xpression Dance), South London

2v2 Beginner: Jereil Boateng (Age 13, Woodcote High School) and Nicole Jarvis (Age 13, Woodcote High School), Croydon

2v2 Experienced: Emre Djemal (Age 15, Frederick Bremer School in Waltham Forest) and Tamia Jordan (Age 17, Richmond Upon Thames College)

2v2 External: Lil P’Nut (Cold Collective) and Isiah Samuel

All Style Crews: Hendon School (Ages 11 – 14), Barnet

Other Local schools performing in the showcases included: City and Islington College, Forest Hill School, Hendon School, and Praxis Dance Company, Uxbridge College.

Audience members were also treated to two performances; one by an emerging young rap artist and the second by RAD’s youth dance company, SYNC. The piece was entitled Punctuation and was choreographed by Step into Dance practitioner, Nathan Mafwa.

This year’s Battle marked an extra special celebration as it commemorated 50 years of hip hop, along with Breaking becoming a sport at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Tim Arthur Chief Executive of the RAD said: “Step into Dance’s Battle event raises the roof every single year – and this year was no exception. What a delight it was to see so many young dancers from across London come together to celebrate the joy and wonder of dance. Congratulations to everyone who took part in this truly fantastic event.”

Gemma Juma, Chief Executive of Jack Petchey Foundation said: “The talent and sense of community from these Breakers is incredible. Year after year, young people show what they can achieve with hard work, commitment and determination. The Battle shows how much fun young people can have along the way!”

Maja, a Youth Consultation Panel member of the Jack Petchey Foundation, said: “These young performers were brilliant, talented and inspiring. What a great day of showing off their skills.”

To find out more about Step into Dance watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t_lH8mVC74.

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