I've always been a fan of all kinds of dance. No matter which way a dancer moves his or her body, it's somewhat captivating to me. And the more captivating it is, the more I thirst to learn that style. Since University, I've been looking at the other opportunities available. I now have experience and/or training in Samba Reggae, African Dance, Burlesque, Ballet and Contemporary styles. I was initially advised to take ballet classes to strengthen my core and my control, but since then it's meant so much more than that.
I started to meld the styles a little during unversity, setting up Warwick's first cross arts society, Tongue-in-Cheek, whose flamboyant style and storytelling techniques became rather well known during my third year.
I've built on these initial choreographies in recent years, as part of Broken Rose Performing Arts. But it was with Pavilion Dance South West's Hip Hop Conference, Reclaim the Street, in November that I was inspired to start recording it all. What defined my style? It certainly wasn't straight up Hip Hop, and I'm not sure it ever was. I'm now determined to get some notation sorted with this style, which I've named "FUSE":
Heavlily influenced by commercial Hip Hop and Street Dance, Fuse is a high energy and high emotion dance form that combines elements of Ballet, Samba Reggae, African and Contemporary dance styles, among others. "Fuse" choreography switches constantly between different musical elements; bouncing from beat, to melody, to bassline.
But before we start writing it all down, let's get the visuals right first:
The above footage was recorded in May 2010, whilst working with filmmaker Francesca Hughes on my portfolio. We hired the dance studio at our old high school and had a lot of fun freestyling with the basic elements of my genre: solid urban roots elements of many other styles. This video shows the begining of this new dance form. Let's hope there's more development to come.
I'm also expecting a backlash though. It has come to my attention that there are certain "purists" out there who seem to abhor all dance forms that have evolved from Hip Hop, despite the fact that Hip Hop itself evolved from something else entirely. Now I don't want to get into a big argument, so I'll just say this: This is art. Art evolves, it morphs and changes. That's the point of this industry, otherwise we'd never move forward. Don't think of it as dilution; it's just that there's more out there.