1Step Bedfordshire Youth Dance Platform

Next Generation Youth Theatre © Neil Hannam

1Step Bedfordshire Youth Dance Platform by Leanne

Talented, local, young dancers returned to bring an audience an evening of dance at the 1Step Bedfordshire Youth Dance Platforms. A variety of styles such as musical theatre, street dance and contemporary were performed at both Luton and Bedford venues on two weekends in December, 2018. It was a pleasure to watch local dance groups come together to perform in a community dance platform. The platform gathered dancers of various ages together, each sharing their unique story.
The day was an action packed, fun filled day, consisting of rehearsals, photo shoots and valuable workshops delivered by professional artists. I was delighted to represent this event as a One Dance UK ambassador, but I was also grateful to have the opportunity to perform in this event with Next Generation Youth Theatre company at the Bedford platform, conveying a powerful message about women empowerment.

A scheduled plan was followed throughout the day, beginning with tech rehearsals, allowing each company to have an insight into the other companies’ pieces, each one portraying a powerful message. Throughout the morning, the dancers were able to take part in various workshops of different styles with professional artists. I, personally participated in a workshop with professional performer and choreographer, Helen Parlour focusing on the techniques of contemporary dance. The workshop applied the focus of dynamics in contemporary dance and encouraged us to test the boundaries of our movement. After the workshops and a short break, dress rehearsals commenced. The groups were divided up, some groups rehearsed their piece whilst other companies took part in a photoshoot with a professional photographer. A professional photographer being present at this event, enabled young dancers to engage in a professional environment, and a chance to showcase their skills. Each dancer had the chance to capture their specific movement(s) and it was also fun to take a more relaxed approach from the hard work of the day, and mess around with the props in the studio. Late afternoon, the show commenced and it was a successful display of diverse, talented dance of Bedfordshire.
Showcasing youth dance within the region not only provides an audience with the immense amount of talent in Bedfordshire, but also presents and gives profile to dance in the UK, and why it is important.

Sophie, the director of the 1step Platform expressed her aim of the platform and why is necessary for young people:
The aim of 1Step is to bring together local young dancers to share work and passion in the local arts community. Setting up 1Step in the Bedfordshire area was needed in terms of arts engagement and professionalism within performance opportunities for young talent. Having experienced and communicated with young dancers and youth dance leaders, there is a common interest of the day fulfilling needs in terms of performing in a fully equipped theatre space, workshops provided by industry professionals and the opportunity to watch and be aware of other local dancers. It is a huge success for me that we always receive good feedback and I will continue to provide this opportunity for them. In developing 1Step, I will always remain to keep its main goal: giving young dancers the opportunity to learn, share and perform in an engaging and creative environment

Participants of the 1step Platform have expressed their own experience:
I enjoyed seeing all of the other dance companies come together to showcase their talent on Sophie’s platform

I loved the chance to come together with other local companies and take part in local companies and take part in workshops led by industry professionals. It was so nice to mix and share work!

Seeing our young dancers dancing alongside other youth dance providers was really refreshing, and allowed us all the opportunity to learn from one another to celebrate youth dance collectively

It is always great to attend the 1Step Dance Platform and see the fantastic work being done locally in a wonderfully supportive environment