It emerged last month that thousands of dancers are needed to offer their natural rhythm and to participate in the celebrations of the Commonwealth Games handover ceremony in Birmingham in 2022. Four years… is that long enough for non professional dancers to train up and put themselves forward for this artistic opportunity of a lifetime?
Birmingham has been officially named as the prospective host of the 2022 Games, and the televised ceremony will be shown internationally as part of the closing of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in that April.
The organisers of the event are said to be encouraging over 2,000 young dancers in the local area to come forward, aged between sixteen and twenty-five years old, to participate in their group dance which is seen as an opportunity for locals to get involved in a mass participation event in their home city.
Birmingham will host the Commonwealth Games Ceremony in a few years’ time, and needs you! Photo on VisualHunt.com
The best part is that the recruited dancers actually need not have any formal training and no experience is required to apply.
This means that, even if you have never performed for an audience or been awarded a certificate of proficiency in the discipline, you can still be chosen to join your community and simply dance by conveying your passion for the art of dance and for your home.
If you’re from Birmingham, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this magical opportunity. Go on and take centre stage, under the spotlight, it’s your time to shine! But remember that teamwork is also key in the dance world, so when it comes to a group dance you need to realize that everyone deserves to be respected and everyone has their own roles to play.
But rather than just leaving it to getting caught up in the moment, wouldn’t you prefer to have a little bit of practice to encourage you to move with a bit more confidence on camera?
I thought as much! Below are some of the dance classes that are available to you in Birmingham, and can offer you all of the dance moves, training and dance technique you need over the next four-year period to hone your dancing abilities.
There are various types of dancing styles, some of which may share basic dance steps in common to help you get into your groove (like spins or two-step) whereas others might incorporate their very own unique traits and techniques which require you to engage a bit more! Below are just some of the many categories of dance that you will come across when looking at dance classes in Birmingham as a new student.
Classical Indian Dance
Classical Indian Dancing consists of Bhangra, among other styles. Photo credit: Vicky_David on VisualHunt
Furthermore, Experimental or Freelance dancing is said to be a category of its own, as with many other modern styles like Bellydancing, Pole dancing and Country dancing.
Other different styles of choreography on offer at one dance studio or another are Hip Hop, Jazz Hip Hop, Funk, Modern Jazz, Flamenco, Bellydance, Ballet class, Folk dance, Country dance, Break dancing, Pole dancing, Bhangra, Brazilian Cuban and West African, to name but a few, welcoming an array of challenging and fun steps and music.
During any dance class, you will incorporate dance fitness by means of a warm up (stretching) and a cool down and learning some basic steps in between, sometimes in an intensive cardio sequence. All dancers will benefit from improved coordination, stamina, footwork, creativity and musicality when they have completed their dance training.
No matter which dance program they enrol on, dance instructor they have or partner they are paired up with (if applicable), the beginner or intermediate will be trained to be more expressive, to have more grace, to engage with a piece of music and to have fun with the styles of dance they are specializing in.
If in any doubt about whether a class or style is right for you, then feel free to call the centre or the dance instructor to talk over your concerns you have from your footwork skill to your flexibility. As a complete beginner with no experience at all, you may find that private dance lessons are a better option for you because the choreographer teaches you dance programs based upon your strengths and weaknesses in the discipline, placing emphasis on your natural talent and looking to teach you the skills you lack by using their years of experience.
They will get you to dance if that’s the last thing they do!
Do you have two left feet but want to be as agile and quick as the legendary Fred Astaire? Below are some classes in the Birmingham area that will offer you basic dance techniques adapted for beginners and help get you ship shape for the upcoming Commonwealth Ceremony, or whatever your goal is for learning to dance.
Fred Astaire was a dancing phenomenon. Photo credit: danceonair1986 on Visualhunt.com
DanceXchange (Thorp Street)
Ballet Adult Beginners
Street Dance Adult Beginners
Monday & Thursday 6.15pm
Jazz Dance Adult Beginners
Contemporary Adult Beginners
The Dance Workshop (Moseley Village)
Ballet Intro Course
Tap Intro Course
Egyptian Dance Beginners
Ballroom and Latin 1st Level Beginners
For further details on each dance centre’s class schedule, venue or timetable, please contact the dance teacher or visit their website.
Also, if you aren’t sure what to wear to each session, then ask in advance. You will probably be working up a sweat in most classes and getting your heart pumping so your best bet is to wear comfortable clothing like shorts, a t-shirt and some soled trainers, to feel happy going into that initial warm up. Meanwhile, if attending a ballet class, you might need to wear tights and ballet shoes whilst those females enrolled in salsa dance classes may be asked to bring heels.
So long as you make sure you are prepared, there’s no reason why you won’t look forward to your dancing classes each semester!
In beginners’ Ballroom classes, you will learn to dance basic steps and techniques associated with standard Ballroom as well as Latin Ballroom dance styles. You don’t need a partner to join, which makes it perfect for those looking for social dancing opportunities.
So long as you sign up for a course for those new to the dance, you won’t need any previous experience or dancing skills. You just need to be interested in learning about the history of dance, mastering the variety of styles that come under this category and feeling happy and confident to interchange the styles each week whilst practising them in your spare time too.
As part of a Ballroom workshop, you will learn basic moves needed to dance the Foxtrot, Waltz and Tango (i.e. standard Ballroom dances) as well as those required for the Cha Cha, Rumba and Jive (i.e. Latin-based Ballroom). You will be taught the differences between leading and following in a dance sequence or routine as well get the opportunity to dance with multiple partners over the weeks.
The skills acquired during this type of dance class will boost your self-esteem when dancing in nightclubs, or when you have your first dance with your new husband or wife, and likewise your father-daughter dance on your wedding day.
Latin dancing, particularly for men, allows you to gain a number of very useful skills.
Men are often scared of dancing or feel uncomfortable showcasing their skill because they fear that others will think it is unmanly. It is important to note that men and women, straight or homosexual, call all benefit from dancing.
If, however, you are a man who is a little self-conscious, then Salsa classes could be the perfect way to make you feel comfortable in your own skin. The dance techniques you will learn along the way will impact you physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally – all great reasons to let go and leave your comfort zone!
During your introduction to Latin dancing, you will not only gradually become a better dancer, you will also come to realise that you are turning into a more modern, well-rounded man who is comfortable with who he is: his sexuality, his looks, his career, his life. So go on and face your fears and start learning how to dance like a real man!
Still think that dancing isn’t for you? You may not even realise it, but Salsa dancing teaches you how to lead. This is a valuable skill to have both on the dance floor and off too. It not only affects your confidence in being assertive, but it also helps you to better communicate with others using your body language and posture.
All of the above skills could be an important factor in terms of how you approach your professional life, romantic partnerships and social situations.
Many more dances can have the same impact as the above on a man or woman’s life. Take a ballet class, for example, which is a great way for men and women alike to combine gymnastic skills with contemporary ballet techniques. We often talk of ballerinas and tutus, but ballet training is encouraged for men too by many a top ballet academy.
Ballet school teaches poise and self-expression to boys and girls through to adults and beginning ballet as a talented individual could lead to you being a renowned ballerina in the world of dance theatre.
Kids can attend a range of dance lessons too, from classes for toddlers, preschoolers, for kids and for students to after-school clubs for those older teens.
If looking for dance classes for children (boys and girls), you’ll probably discover music classes, ballet barre, ballet pointe, toddler dance, dancing tots and gymnastics classes. Other developmental courses for kids that are designed to stimulate their fine motor skills are any sensory or creative play sessions that allow them to have a boogie (or do some wiggles if they’re still not on their feet yet!).