Woking SLAM 2020

THERE was an electric atmosphere in Woking’s Rhoda McGaw Theatre on Saturday evening as nearly 200 young people thrilled a sell-out audience with dance performances.

Fifteen groups were taking part in Dance Woking’s 10th annual Woking SLAM Platform.

Students from St John the Baptist School in their tightly co-ordinated routine

Dancers from across Surrey and the South East performed to rapturous applause.

“This platform is really quite special, as we are showcasing a range of different dance troupes from those at world level to dancers who are taking the stage for the first time,” said Dance Woking’s chief executive and artistic director, Sam McCaffrey.

“We are lucky to be able to show progression routes at a multi-layered platform like this. It’s really inspiring. Woking and Surrey have an amazing, vibrant and diverse dance sectors that we should celebrate and showcases like these allow us to do just that.”

Evolve’s performance included ballet-style leaps

A 28 strong troupe from Woking based Street Vibes Elite – winners of silver and bronze cups at the 2019 World Dance Championship – opened the show.

They were followed by pupils from Westfield Primary School’s dance club, all new to dance. They took their stimulus from James Wilton Dance’s The Storm. Some of the performers had seen this professional dance company perform at the theatre in February.

Next on stage were 16 dancers from Vital Signz Juniors from Kingston on Thames and then Woking based BKD Performers Advanced Street Funk.

Woking’s Evolve Youth thrilled with a performance created when they came together for three days during the February half-term break. Their piece, Turbulence, was choreographed by Oliver Robertson from James Wilton Dance.

The dancers, all members of various dance schools, took the opportunity to work with a professional company to challenge and improve their skills.

Maidenhead-based Dance Inspired followed with Urban Dance School (UDS) and members of Tuffney Performing Arts from Buckinghamshire rounded off the first half.

The Street Vibes crew are all smiles

An amazing 26-strong troupe of girls from St John the Baptist School at Old Woking opened the second half. Next came Vital Signz Dance Seniors, BKD Performers Junior Funk and newcomers Bloom Dance from Oxfordshire attending for the first time.

Richmond College performed a highly theatrical piece to Diamonds, Vital Signz Adults followed and highlighted that dance is for all ages. Closing the show, professional dance company Ombrascura shared an exert of their current work The Moon and Me.

“If that wasn’t enough, the finale definitely brought the house down with an impromptu ‘battle’,” said Sam. “It was led by UDS, with dancers taking to the stage to perform their signature moves to I Like to Move it Move it from the film Madagascar.”

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