MOVE IT 2020 offers a wide range of classes for you to take part in! All the studios are named after dance LEGENDS and here at MOVE IT, we honour their talent and contribution to the dance world as you take your classes in these studios. Get set for your classes by reading about each dance legend here!
The American dancer, choreographer and anthropologist, Katherine Dunham rose to fame by incorporating her African-American and Caribbean movement into her Ballets. Throughout her career she developed an entirely new dance form, ‘The Dunham Technique’, and formed the Dunham Dance Company, an all-black dance company. She was also a pioneer in the use of folk and ethnic choreography and one of the founders of anthropological dance. Being an author, social activist and dancer, Dunham had one of the most successful dance careers in African-American and European theatres of the 20th century.
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was an American tap dancer and actor, the best known and most highly paid black American entertainer in America during the first half of the twentieth century. He is best known today for his dancing with Shirley Temple in a series of films during the 1930s, his signature routine ‘The Stair Dance’, and for starring in the musical Stormy Weather (1943) which is loosely based on his own life. He used his popularity to challenge and overcome numerous racial barriers throughout his career and in 1989, US Congress designated Bojangle’s birthday (25 May) as National Tap Dance Day.
The Russian-born ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky was known to be the greatest male dancer of the 20th century. Nijinsky was introduced to dance by his parents, who were senior dancers with the travelling Setov opera and so his early childhood was spent touring with the company. He is celebrated for his many legendary performances, particularly his gravity-defying leaps. Nijinsky was one of the founding members of Ballet Russes and in 1912 choreographed the controversial and ground-breaking original ballet L’Après-midi d’un Faune – pushing the boundaries of classical dance.
Born Gerald Levy and known as Mr Wacky, Bogle was a Jamaican Dancehall star and is recognised as an icon of Dancehall culture. Founder of the renowned Black Roses Crew, Bogle created moves that saw him as Jamaica’s number one dancer including Log On, Willie Bounce and Row Di Boat – which are still danced around the world today. Bogle is considered the foundation of Dancehall and his influence on popular culture can be seen in the work of commercial artists such as Rihanna, Parris Goebel, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and more.
Martha Graham is one of the pioneers of American modern dance. A highly influential dancer, choreographer and teacher, she created over 180 pieces of work during her lifetime. Graham was the first dancer to perform at the White House, travel abroad as a cultural ambassador, and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction. Her approach to dance and theatre revolutionised the art form; and her innovative physical vocabulary, codified as the ‘Graham Technique’, is taught around the world to this day.
In the early 1990’s, American B-girl Ana Rokafella rejected the stereotype of what was thought to be a male-only dance form. She followed her passions for breaking and is now considered to be one of the form’s pioneers, teaching and judging at international events around the world. Rokafella also runs Full Circle Productions with her partner and fellow break dancer Kwikstep – aiming to empower young dancers through the positive impact of Hip Hop. She has also served as a judge for The International Battle of the Year.
World- renowned director and choreographer Robert Louis Fosse changed stage and screen forever with his distinct style of Jazz and Musical Theatre; including use of props, stylised movements and provocative steps. He is best known for his award-winning Broadway musicals including Chicago (1975) and Cabaret (1972) and for being the only person ever to win an Oscar, Emmy and Tony award in the same year. His legendary Fosse style is still used today, as dancers re-produce his trademark style, such as the iconic ‘turned -in knees’ and ‘Jazz hands’ in shows around the world.