Category Archives: Dance class

New ballet class in Cardiff: Gemma Brannigan’s Ballet Academy

For the past two weeks I have been going back to my classical roots, attending Gemma Brannigan’s Sunday morning ballet classes at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.

The trouble with ballet classes is when you first go along, you never know what to expect. Ability can range so massively that it can be difficult to know what you’re letting yourself in for – you can find yourself in an adults advanced class with a room full of beginners, or perhaps worse, attend an advanced class strictly for professionals… and find yourself struggling to attempt a triple pirouette en pointe.

Ballet class 4

Photo: Peter Voerman, the Oude School

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RAD, ISTD and IDTA to launch first Dance Proms at the Royal Albert Hall

Three of the leading dance boards are to collaborate to launch the first ever Dance Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November this year.

The event will feature UK members from the RAD, ISTD and IDTA from across the country, with the dancers performing original choreography either as a solo, couple, trio or group performance. Those who wish to enter are required to send in a video of the performance to a judging panel of professionals, who will then select a variety of acts to perform at the event.

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Capturing Cardiff – how the dance scene is surviving budget cuts


The Cardiff dance scene is still battling to stay alive despite recent budget cuts, thanks to a handful of dance groups in the city.

After the announcement of the brutal curb on funding in all governmental departments, the end seemed nigh for the dance scene in Cardiff – which, in comparison to other major UK cities, is seemingly underdeveloped. However, all is not lost.

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SLASH Hip-Hop Dance Workshop review – Saturday 27th November

Cardiff was graced with some choreographer elite this weekend when SLASH Hip-Hop Group hosted a two-day dance workshop at Vitality Gym.

I was fortunate enough to grab a spot on the sell-out Saturday workshop, which had three classes to offer from choreographers Bly Richards, Azrul Aminudin and Nader Musharbash.

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SLASH Hip-Hop beginners review

SLASH Hip-Hop crew are expanding the much-lacking Cardiff dance scene by offering hip-hop dance classes at Vitality Gym on Park Place – from beginners to advanced.

Recommended by a fellow journo dance-a-holic, I decided to check out their beginners class on Monday evening. I had my suspicions – everything this class entails would go completely against my previously completely classical training. I have experimented with hip-hop dance before (around the time of the release of Step Up 2, I think I naively thought my new dance interest would lead me to a guy like Channing Tatum) but my skills are far from well-honed.

Call me a hip-hop convert. I was immensely impressed.

The class was lead by two enthusiastic young girls – Francesca Parma and Kimberlee Steele – and immediately I was put at ease. The warm-up was hip-hop move inspired, not your box-standard aerobics sequence. It did the job – not only was I sufficiently limbered up for some serious moves, but it managed to push the voice of my former ballet teacher screaming “shoulders back! Turn your feet out!” out of my head.

The class had a good turn-out, and the studio was well equipped for what the class needed. After the warm-up, straight into a choreographed sequence, led by Kimberlee.

The choreography was effortlessly slick and engaging, a good reflection on the teacher and choreographer herself. Her enthusiasm and energy was infectious, it was difficult not to really get into the choreography.

Aside from that, the teaching itself was clear and easy to follow – demonstrations were repeated several times, and was really tailored to the hip-hop beginner. The proof lies with my housemate who has no previous dancing experience, yet seemed to pick up the moves with ease.

The class finished with a well-rehearsed piece of choreography that defied our beginners’ status. The girls film each class and upload the video onto their Facebook page so participants can be proud and share their hard work.

In other very exciting news – SLASH are also hosting a dance workshop on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of November, with a range of choreographers with a complete entourage of celebrity experience to their name giving classes. Keep following for the blog…