Search for the next generation of hip hop dance creators is underway

West Midlands choreographers and dancers sought for free training project

Hip Hop dancers and choreographers sought for free training programme in the Midlands

Hip Hop dance theatre is enjoying the spotlight at the moment and a new programme is in place to develop West Midlands talent.

It has been launched by the team behind Xzibit Young Creatives and is open for applications from young people aged between 11 and 19 until Friday November 26.

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The project was first conceived in the East Midlands in 2011 and this is the first time that it has been opened to the West Midlands.

Who are Xzibit Young Creatives?

Xzibit Young Creatives is an artist-led hip hop dance theatre project that focuses on developing the young creatives of the future through an intensive choreographic mentoring programme.

It offers mentoring from internationally renowned choreographers including Gareth Woodward and Jasmine Eccles (Xzibit Young Creatives), Kenrick Sandy MBE (Boy Blue Entertainment) and Jonzi D (Breakin’ Convention), amongst others.

The project is designed to provide opportunities for the young people involved to present their own work to live audiences in professional venues. It is suitable for those who have some dance experience and an interest in hip hop.

Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE, Xzibit Young Creatives guest mentor

How can the project help Hip Hop dancers and choreographers?

Xzibit Young Creatives Executive Producer Amy Dalton-Hardy said, “This is a real moment for hip hop dance theatre across the Midlands. With such a significant investment in the project, we’re very excited to provide opportunities for young people to develop and progress their dance making and choreography skills. Through mentoring from some of the industry’s leading hip hop dance theatre pioneers such as Jonzi D and Kenrick Sandy, I can’t wait to witness what the young people make.”

Emma Ponsford, Tour Producer at Breakin’ Convention commented, “Gareth has been instrumental in developing the hip hop scene in Nottingham and the East Midlands.

“This development programme will enable Xzibit Young Creatives to expand their reach, providing an incredible opportunity for young people across the whole of the Midlands to work with highly skilled hip hop artists in developing their choreographic skills.

“This activity supports the development of hip hop dance theatre makers across the UK, resulting in the creation of new work by, and relevant to, a diverse community that is so often under-represented in the arts.”

Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE, Artistic Director of Boy Blue Entertainment and Guest Mentor added “Xzibit Young Creatives is a hub for the next generation of up-and-coming artists to push and preserve their artistry.”

Xzibit Young Creatives’ Artistic Director and Mentor Gareth Woodward concluded, “Having developed Xzibit Young Creatives from the ground up over the past decade, we can’t wait for this next chapter in the project’s development. We have curated a team of renowned mentors in the field of hip-hop dance theatre to work with us in delivering what will be an incredible project, and I’m very excited to see the impact it has on this future generation of artists.”

Birmingham Hippodrome

How can I apply to take part in the programme?

Applications to take part in the talent development programme for 11- to 19-year-olds from across the East and West Midlands open at 9am on Monday 1 November, via the Xzibit Young Creatives website.

Taster workshops and selection days for the project will take place in Birmingham and Nottingham in December for those two locations. From these workshops, ten young people will be taken on as choreographers, with more being selected as dancers.

Over the duration of 12 weeks from January 2022, a full day of workshops will take place every weekend in both Birmingham and Nottingham. The young choreographers and dancers will have their work showcased at the end of this at Lakeside Arts, Nottingham and the Patrick Centre, at Birmingham Hippodrome in April. Shorter intensive projects will also take place in Lincoln, Corby, Leicester, Derby and Coventry between April and July 2022, where young creators and dancers can also apply to take part.

To find out more and apply for a free space at the 2021/22 project go to the Xzibit Young Creatives website

Who is supporting the Xzibit Young Creatives 2021/22 project?

Xzibit Young Creatives 2021/22 project is very kindly supported by the following organisations: Arts Council England, Curve, One Dance UK, Coventry City of Culture Trust 2021, DanceXchange, Inspire Youth Arts, Lakeside Arts, Dance4, The Core at Corby Cube, Deda, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre and The Hub.

The following organisations are also offering strategic and/ or sector support: Breakin’ Convention, Artists 4 Artists, Go Hard or Go Home, Marshon Dance, Coventry Dance, Ascension Dance.

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