Happy Birthday to us!

It's our 5th birthday!!

Artistry Youth Dance is celebrating its 5th anniversary on the 14th April!! We are thankful for our dancers, teachers, choreographers, venues, sponsors, and supporters for helping us get this far!! Check out this video made in honour of this wonderful occasion! 

Welcome to our 2017 teachers!

This term we have a fantastic line-up of teachers working with the dancers!

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Damien Johnson—Guest teacher (ballet)

Damien was born in Dallas, Texas and received his training from Etgen-Atkinson School of Ballet and  the Booker T. Washington School of the Arts. He then studied on a full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. In 2002, Damien joined the American Repertory Ballet and then the Dance Theater of Harlem Ensemble in 2003. He first joined Ballet Black in 2005 before moving to Los Angeles Ballet in 2008. Damien returned to Ballet Black in 2009. As the longest serving member of Ballet Black, Damien has been featured in many Company works by choreographers that include Irek Mukhamedov, Liam Scarlett, Richard Alston and Javier de Frutos, and created the title role of Orpheusin Will Tuckett’s 2011 production for Ballet Black. He created the roles of The Lover in Christopher Hampson’s Storyville (2012), The Soldier in Christopher Marney’s War Letters in 2013, Oberon in Arthur Pita’s Ballet Black production of A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014) and The Ruler in Second Coming (Mark Bruce in 2015). Damien is also a sought-after teacher and is Ballet Master for the Ballet Black Company and Associate Programme.

Heather Benson—Horton Technique

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 Heather trained with Norma’s Academy of Dance, The Atlanta Ballet Centre of Dance, Total Dance and Dancical Productions. She received a B.F.A. in Dance from The Florida State University and went on to become a professional dancer for a multitude of companies: Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, Urban Bush Women and Philadanco! (The Philadelphia Dance Company). In 2013, Heather was an original cast member of The Apollo Theater’s (NYC) James Brown: Get on the Good Foot and now resides in London. Heather continues to teach Horton Technique weekly at Danceworks and serves as a resident instructor for Artistry Youth Dance and Transform! Dance and a guest tutor for the WAC Arts Diploma Programme. Heather’s class brings excitement and dynamic musicality to the Horton technique! 

Mbulelo Ndabeni—Ballet/contemporary

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Originally from Ugie, South Africa, Mbulelo Ndabeni is a London-based dancer, choreographer, movement director, teacher, founder and director of Mbulelo Ndabeni | N'da dance. One Dance UK/DAD Trailblazer 2015-2016, One Dance UK mentoring Programme 2015-2016, Phoenix Dance Theatre's Choreographers and Composer's Lab 2015 and recipient of Dancer's Career Development fund.

Mbulelo trained in Dance For All, Khayelitsha in Cape Town, London Studio Centre, San Francisco Academy of Ballet and Kaatsbaan, New York.

Mbulelo Ndabeni has performed with companies such as Rambert, 'Henri Oguike, Merce Cunningham, Itzik Galili, Mark Baldwin and Christopher Bruce', Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Cape Town City Ballet 'Veronica Peaper, Sean Bovim and Rudy Van Danzig', Cape Dance Company 'Christopher Huggins', Company Chameleon 'Anthony Missen', Longborough Festival Opera 'Didy Veldman' and Company Wayne McGregor. In doing so, Mbulelo has gained valuable experience and skills over many years of working with the top U.K companies and organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as award winning international artists such as ladysmith Black Mambazo and Goshka Macuga.

'Nay Triple Bill' - Friday 15th September

On the 15th September, 2017, choreographer Mbulelo Nbabeni launched his company, N'Da Dance Company, with an enthralling evening of dance, entitled the 'Nay Triple Bill'. Held at Rich Mix, Mbulelo Ndabeni staged an evening of thought provoking works in collaboration with Yinka Esi Graves, Dr Omar Timberlake and Carolyn Bolton exploring the notion of masculine, feminine and conflict. We were fortunate to have performed his piece 'I Matter' as a curtain raiser. The event was sold out and showcased Mbulelo's fantastic work. It was a pleasure to have been involved in the wonderful event. https://www.richmix.org.uk/events/dance/nay-triple-bill

Artistry Youth Dance - Nay Triple Bill

Summer Dance Intensive 2017

We held our second Summer Intensive programme from Monday 14 - Friday 18 August, 2017. It was delivered on behalf of Islington Council as part of their 'Launchpad' Summer activities, and was free for young people who lived or studied in Islington, aged 16 -24 years.

The exciting programme, saw the young people have workshops in Jazz led by Kamara Gray, Hip-Hop with Yami 'Rowdy' Lofvenberg, Afro-Fusion with Sheila Attah, Contemporary Dance with Sarita Piotrowski, and Dance Business with Tomorr Kokona on behalf of One Dance UK. We even had the chance to attend the West End production of 'Dream Girls', which was a wonderful experience for all involved. A great week of dance, and we look forward to next year's event. Thanks to everyone who attended, and thank you to Islington Council and Launchpad for the opportunity to host such a great event. We'd also like to express a special thanks to City and Islington College, who provided the fantastic dance space for the Intensive.

Check out this highlights video of what took place during the week!

Artistry Youth Dance present 'Empowerment', a sharing of Dance

Artistry Youth Dance present their end of year dance showcase entitled ‘Empowerment’. The evening will feature exciting work by a selection of choreographers, including Kamara Gray, Heather Benson, Shelley Maxwell, and guest choreographer Alleyne Dance.

Kristina and Sadé Alleyne presents Alleyne Dance, an internationally touring, innovative, modern, multi disciplined dance company based in London. Kristina and Sadé have worked with many companies across the years and trained in many genres of dance including traditional African dance, Hip Hop, Kathak, Latin and Circus Skills. 

The programme will also feature a special guest performance by Nafisah Baba, winner of the BBC Young Dancer of the Year Award.

The event is supported by the Islington Council Local Initiatives Fund.

Artistry Youth Dance present 'Empowerment'

Auditions for new dancers - Sunday 2nd July, 2017

Seeking dancers of African & Caribbean descent, aged 14-25 years to join our successful youth dance company! This year, we're accepting dancers up to age 25! Don't miss out!

Learn more, and register at: www.artistryyouthdance.com

‘ +Push’ Performing Arts Festival

Brit School, Croydon

23rd March. 2017

Artistry Youth Dance

Our final performance for the term was at the Brit School’s ‘+Push' Performing Arts Festival. The Festival was an evening of exciting performances from London schools, colleges, and youth dance companies. It was a great event to have been involved with, and a wonderful chance for the dancers to further showcase their dance and performances skills. A special thanks to the Brit School for programming us in their exciting show.

Performance at Move It, 2017

Sunday 12th March

Excel Centre, London

Artistry Youth Dance

We were invited to perform at this year’s ‘Move It’ exhibition, the UK's biggest dance event. Over 28 000 visitors attended the 3-day event which featured performances, workshops, and everything dance. 


We were delighted to feature as VIP guest artists at the new Move It and Capezio Dance Championships stage. The dancers presented their compelling Contemporary Caribbean piece, 'Empowerment', choreographed by the talented Shelley Maxwell.

‘Blaze’ Girls’ Day of Dance Trinity Laban

Trinity Laban

15th February, 2017

Artistry Youth Dance

For the second year in succession, we were guest performers at ‘Blaze’, a unique dance event run by Trinity Laban. Blaze is an interactive day of dance for girls aged 11-16 years, aimed to encourage them to participate in dance. The day featured performances by female dancers in order to inspire the participants. Audience members stated that their highlight of the event was ‘being able to watch all of the different performances’. A huge thank you to Trinity Laban for including us in such an uplifting event.

Mannequin Challenge

We know that everyone's doing them so we thought we'd do our own Mannequin Challenge! Filmed at our end of term Watching Day. A special thanks to the parents and audience members who took part as well! Filmed by Carole Edrich.

Meet and greet with dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater!

Artistry Youth Dance had the chance to watch a performance of the talented Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Sadler's Wells Theatre. The students then met Ailey Company members, Yannick Le Brun and Constance Stamatiou, during an informative Q&A session, where they spoke about their experience of being in the Company.

Some of the dancers were also fortunate enough to meet Artistic Director, Robert Battle, which  was a great inspiration.

Thank you for making 'Resilience' a success!

A fantastic audience for our end of year dance showcase

 

Thank you to everyone who attended our end of year dance showcase, 'Resilience'. We are grateful to those who were in the audience, and those who supported from afar. The dancers presented a range of pieces in Jazz, Contemporary and South African influenced dance styles, choreographed by Kamara Gray, Gerrard Martin, Amanda Lewis, and guest choreographer Mbulelo Ndabeni.

The evening was hosted by Simone Daley-Richards, and also featured performances by two special guest artists. Choreographer, Hannah Anderson-Ricketts,  presented a beautiful duet, 'Remote', featuring dancers Valerie Ebuwa and Cherilyn Albert. Namron OBE, performed his emotional solo, 'Missing', which was a delight to watch. The audience included the Worshipful the Mayor of Islington, Councillor Kat Fletcher and the Islington Young Mayor, Darey Cletus who both gave positive feedback for the performance.

We'd like to thank the Islington Council Local Initiatives Fund for their support, as well as  Paradise Patties and Miss Munchins Cupcakes, for providing the delicious food for the evening. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all and we look forward to presenting futures performances.

Images by Urban Decay Visuals

Auditions for new dancers - Sunday 3rd July, 2016

Seeking dancers of African and Caribbean descent, aged 14-19 years to join our vibrant London youth dance company


Sunday 3rd July, 2016

Artistry Youth Dance is providing dancers with a unique opportunity to join us from September 2016! We are a vibrant youth dance company that showcases and celebrates dancers of African and Caribbean descent, aged 14-19 years. We aim to encourage success through dance whilst also promoting cultural diversity within the dance industry.

We offer young people a variety of fantastic opportunities to develop their dance and performance skills:

  • Ballet, Jazz & Contemporary Dance

  • Performance opportunities

  • Workshops with award winning dance companies and choreographers (previous workshops include Ballet Black, Namron, Savion Glover, Anthony Burrell, Mbulelo Ndabeni)

  • Theatre trips to dance shows and events (Ballet Black, Phoenix Dance Theatre, The Scottsboro Boys, Savion Glover, Dutch National Ballet, Memphis musical, The Lion King musical and many more!)

To register for an audition and to learn more, visit: www.artistryyouthdance.com

Group Trip to see 'Phoenix Dance Theatre'

   The dancers with Phoenix Dance Theatre Artistic Director, Sharon Watson

The dancers with Phoenix Dance Theatre Artistic Director, Sharon Watson

We also had the chance to watch the fantastic Phoenix Dance Theatre live at the Royal Opera House. The Company presented a Triple Bill featuring Until.With/Out.Enough by prominent Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili, Bloom  by rising star Caroline Finn and TearFall, by Sharon Watson, Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre.

We had a wonderful evening and the dancers even had the opportunity to meet the Artistic Director, Sharon Watson, after the show.

Have a read of the reviews written by some of the dancers about their thoughts on the show. Click here to see what they thought!