Last weekend I attended an event for the second year running, the dance convention ‘Move It 2015’. After attending last year and really enjoying it, I decided to take my dance teacher along for it’s 10th anniversary. For those who are yet to attend (why not?!) it’s a dance based 3 day event involving special guest appearances and performance such as Darcey Bussell, Wayne Sleep with Big Ballet and Britain’s got talent street dance group, Flawless, it also contains countless colleges and academy’s for you to gawk at and apply to, and hundreds of stands covering all areas of dance.
We only attended the final of the three days so only saw a handful of what was on offer when it came to main stage performances which changed daily so those who bought a weekend ticket. However particular performances which stood out were Urdang’s 80’s jazz number, Tring park school’s eye catching piece, and the cast of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. It was so refreshing to see dance which wasn’t as commercialised and as generic as Hip Hop and Street which I did enjoy, although it became a bit repetitive after about 6 performances featuring various streams of urban dancing.
The main stage may be the focal point of the event, however the amount to do and see and buy around it seems endless. The whole arena is jam packed with little booths, some of which are your favourite dance brands, selling their popular products at outlet prices, other booths range from makeup to flooring, to dance costumes to professional photography, and not forgetting hundreds of dance colleges and schools spread across the country all conveniently in one place for you to talk to.
When I have been to ‘Move It’ previously I had more of an interest in the schools, centres and colleges as it was possibly an option for me, I really recommend attending if you are thinking about a career in dance. As well as all the booths who are always friendly eager to chat to any potential pupils, there is another side event called ‘Perform’. This section of the Olympia focuses around careers in performing arts. It also features workshops, talks and demonstrations, all of which educate you in depth on the industry and give helpful tips on how to make it.
If you do go to ‘Move It’ next year, which I highly recommend you do, even if you aren’t a dancer and just enjoy watching it, I have one piece of advice. Pay the bit extra and go as a VIP, it is so worth it, the only reason I can think of why more people don’t do it, is because the benefits aren’t advertised enough! For one day entry Standard tickets are £15 and VIP are £50, seems a big jump but let me explain. At ‘Move It’ you are on your feet all day and there is no where in the exhibition hall to sit down unless you purchase some over priced food and sit squashed between sweaty performers (side tip – bring food!) With VIP tickets you have easy access to the VIP lounge, this gives you free refreshments, comfy sofas, peace from the blaring music and hundreds of people and somewhere to put all your bags and freebies you collect throughout the day. I would never survive ‘Move It’ without that lounge!
Speaking of freebies, if you get a VIP ticket you instantly get your money’s worth back in freebies, over the years I’ve gratefully received dance bags, t shirts, ballet tights, key rings, water bottles, pointe shoe bags, ballet shoes coupons, hair brushes, stretch bands, and enough stickers and pens to last you thirty seven years. The other perks of VIP include going straight into the convention centre before everyone and not having to wait in the freezing cold for up to two and and half hours in a line longer than the Great Wall of China, and also having the best view of the main stage by having unlimited access to the cordoned off section in front of the crowd which you can pop in and out of without losing your hard earned spot in the dense crowd.
I apologise for very long and rambly review as I know this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. I hope I’ve made ‘Move It’ sound appealing (and not too daunting!) and helped inform you if you were undecided on whether go or not. The atmosphere and excitement among everyone keeps you going throughout the day and it just such an immersive experience, one not any dancer should miss out on. It’s safe to say I will be attending again next year.