Tuesday 12th March 2019 saw a return to the Copper Box for the fifth year of the London Youth Games Mixed Dance Competition. KS3 and KS4 pupils from over 40 schools represented various London boroughs for a day of high quality dancing.
The competition was judged by Jennie Jethwani, Managing Director and Founder of Absolute Bollywood, Lena Dee, Artistic Director of Lift Off Dance Festival and Christian “Big Kris” Alozie, a founding member of the dance troupe Flawless.
Each team was scored on five areas: choreography, concept, performance skill, floor use and soundtrack. Music ranged from upbeat tracks such as Beyoncé’s Run the World to heartfelt ballads like This is Me from The Greatest Showman. Themes varied from women’s empowerment to grief and depression to an exploration of the jungle.
Highlights of the day included a hard-hitting performance from Ricards Lodge High School (Merton) which called for young people to prioritise Lives Not Knives, an elegant display from the male protagonist in Halley Academy’s (Greenwich) Romeo and Juliette and a high-octane show from Preston Manor (Brent) which certainly lived up to its title: For the Culture.
Congratulations to Kingsmead School (Enfield) for winning the KS3 Respect the Games Award. They were nominated for great teamwork. The KS4 Respect the Games Award was won by Townley Grammar (Bexley) for excellent technique.
The KS3 Dance Competition was won by Greig City Academy (Haringey) with an upbeat performance set to a medley of popular Afrobeats. Second place was taken by Mayfield School (Redbridge) with a mashup of hits promoting Girl Power perfect for International Women’s Month. St Angela’s Ursuline (Newham) were third with a dance quartet exploring the complexities of different relationships.
The KS4 Dance Competition was incredibly close with only a few points between first, second and third place. Townley Grammar were crowned the winners with an emotive piece titled Our Scars, Our Stories centred around young women’s pressures to be perfect in an “insensitive and unforgiving society”. Abbs Cross Academy & Arts College (Havering) came a close second with a terrific performance to the tune of Eurhythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These). Heartlands High School (Haringey) took third with a graceful dance exploring the devastating impact of the plague.
The top three schools from each competition will progress to Nationals – we wish them all the very best of luck and forward to seeing Greig City Academy and Townley Grammar perform again at the Opening Ceremony for our Spring Finals Competition next week Thursday.
Thanks to Exercise Move Dance for working with us to facilitate the Mixed Dance Competition and thanks to the Copper Box Arena for hosting. Thanks also to Damien Anyasi for MCing the competition and keeping us thoroughly entertained throughout the day.
Well done to all of the schools who took part and represented their boroughs. The performances were of a very high standard and made for an extremely exciting day. #ProudtoBe