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'Anybody and everybody can dance'
Make your move on July 14 as the Let’s Dance public performances arrive at a town centre near you. Dancers of all ages and abilities, plus anyone who just wants to get in the groove, can come along and participate. You can assemble your own flashmob-style group with friends, family or work colleagues or join in with others who love to dance.
The Big Dance event is organised by DanceDigital and choreographed by Welwyn- based C-12 Dance.
In order to get you started C-12 Dance commissioned former Middlesex University student Kimberley Clarke to create dance videos that people can follow at home. Filmed on her former campus at Trent Park, Kimberley recorded footage for three different, highly inspirational dance pieces. The first is a seated routine, which is accessible to anyone, irrespective of age or ability. The second piece is for beginners and the third is for professional dancers or intermediate level.
“I really wanted to make something that everybody could do the same, even if they have certain limitations or different levels of ability, so they don’t feel left out,” explains Kimberley. ”My brief was to include folk or partner dance. Each version of the dance is designed to mobilise the joints and give people a good aerobic session. For people in wheelchairs it’s all about the upper body stretch and doing movements that aren't part of everyday life.
"The great thing about the seated version is people in the audience will be sitting down and watching – they might pick up the moves and go along with it.”
This is Kimberley’s first major project as far as choreography is concerned, but it is clear she knows her stuff. Each video is broken down into easy-to-follow clips of the different sections.
I really wanted to make something that everybody could do the same, even if they have certain limitations or different levels of ability, so they don’t feel left outKimberley Clarke
Used to professional dance studios, Kimberley also had to factor in the different surfaces people will be encountering at the Big Dance events.
”It could be wet, slippery grass or concrete, so I’ve tried to keep the movements simple. I don’t want people to be sliding on the floor or rolling around in the mud.”
What Kimberley hopes for is that people will log onto the DanceDigital site (www.dancedigital.org.uk) and try out her routines at home before the day. There will be dance leaders present to lead the sessions, but the emphasis is just on turning up and stepping out.
Kimberley, who now teaches at Kidderminster College, says she has tested the dances on her students who are all at different stages in their professional development, but she hasn’t stopped there.
”I’ve taught my mum how to do it. I strongly believe everybody can dance, it’s not always about using the correct technique or getting all the moves right. It’s about participating and having fun.
”I think anybody and everybody can dance – it’s just about moving.”
Let’s Dance, the free Big Dance event, is on Saturday, July 14 from 11.30am to 1.30pm at the Civic Square in St Albans and Charter Place in Watford. Details: 01277 362362, firstname.lastname@example.org