There’s just something about when many dancers gather. The collaborative, creative energy can feel simply incredible. Broadway Dance Center will be part of such an atmosphere, by having a presence at Move It, a large three-day dance convention in London. 2019’s Move It dates will be March 8-10. BDC has sent teachers to the convention for three years, and this will be the second year in which BDC has hosted a panel and seminar.
This year, April Cook will be teaching tap, and Jim Cooney will be teaching musical theater. As Director of Public Relations for BDC, Cook will also be presenting at two seminars BDC is hosting — one on differences in dancing in NYC, LA and England, and another as a Q&A-format sounding board for dance studio owners, to bring forward their concerns and ideas. Cook also attended Move It last year, and shares more about what it’s like.
Cook compares entering the convention to entering a nightclub — with booming music, lasers and flashing lights all around. There will be performances (on a main and side stage), all sorts of classes, and various vendors and booths. Entities such as Royal Caribbean will have on-site auditions, even very potentially casting on spot, Cook shares. On the final day, there will be a “mini” competition, with performances from the winners taking place that night. There will even be an area with acro mats and spotters, for any in attendance who want to give some acro a try for a bit (with spotters there to also guide all in doing so safely).
Other zany, unconventional offerings will be a roller skating rink and a basketball court full of trampolines. Move It After Dark is an additional evening offering with more rigorous, “intensive”-style classes. Move It fit will offer fitness-focused classes, so dancers can even cross-train over the three-day event! Louie Spence, a British dancer, choreographer and actor, will also attend. Cook describes him as “over-the-top silly and fun,” and says many are excited about him being there.
Amongst all these features, BDC will have a booth to promote and answer questions regarding the International Student Visa Program (ISVP), a program designed specifically for dancers all over the world to come train at BDC — which has personnel on staff to help students navigate the M-1 (for students in a technical vocational program) visa process. Cook makes clear that BDC cannot assist other dancers seeking other types of visas, those outside of the ISVP program. She also states that it’s hard to know exactly what kind of interest in the program BDC’s presence at Move It generates, but that last year she got several emails of interest in the program — fairly soon after the convention. Representatives from BDC’s Professional Semester will also be there to promote and answer questions about that program.
Cook explaines how one thing that’s compelled non-American dancers who’ve spoken with BDC representatives was the availability of “drop-in” classes; in other nations, most studios and other types of dance schools operate under a tuition or membership model (with students additionally paying teachers in the latter model). At the event, general reactions to the BDC booth ranged from being unfamiliar to “Wow, you guys are here. We love you!”, Cook explains.
She looks forward to representing BDC in London. “It’s so cool to run into all of these people in entertainment!” Cook says joyfully. When dancers come together, pooling their ideas and energy, they can achieve great things. In a time of the world connecting online, engaging with like-minded people from other countries in person can only enhance that achievement. All of that aside, all those attending Move It can simply enjoy getting up and dancing!
For more information on Move It, visit www.moveitdance.co.uk.
By Kathryn Boland of Dance Informa.