Strictly hip-hop : South London dancers shine in annual jamboree

Four young competitors from South London won different categories at an annual high-energy dance event called Battle.

Battle is an annual celebration of hip hop dance organised by Step into Dance, the UK’s largest inclusive dance programme run by the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).

The event provides the opportunity for young dancers to come together and share their passion for dance, all the while battling it out in front of their friends and a rapturous audience.

This year’s high energy event took place at Old Town Hall in Stratford, where dancers from across London took part in a day of workshops and showcases.

Young dancers also participated in 1v1, 2v2 and crew dance battles to be crowned champions, with all ‘battles’ performed in front of a judging panel featuring Bgirl Roxy, Chris Alozie and previous Battle winner, Caine Harrison.

Tyler Alexis-Ward (left) and Mia Wisniewska (fourth from the right) after their impressive turns on the dance floor (Picture: RAD)

Mia Wisniewska, 15, of The Norwood School, Crown DI, Lambeth won the 1v1 contests for experienced dancers and Tyler Alexis-Ward, also 15, of Xpression Dance, South London, won in the 1v1 External category – for those not on the Step into Dance programme but taking part as an ‘outsider.’

Meanwhile, Jereil Boateng and Nicole Jarvis, both 13 and from Woodcote High School, Meadow Rise, Croydon, won their 2v2 competition for beginners.

An annual event, this year’s Battle marked an extra special celebration as it commemorated 50 years of hip hop, along with Breaking becoming a sport at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Tim Arthur chief executive of the RAD said: “Step into Dance’s Battle event raises the roof every single year – and this year was no exception.
“What a delight it was to see so many young dancers from across London come together to celebrate the joy and wonder of dance. Congratulations to everyone who took part in this truly fantastic event.”
Pictured top: Two of the four South London winners – Jereil Boateng, in the camouflage outfit and Nicole Jarvis, in the pink top (Picture RAD)

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