Battle On The Dance Floor! SPAN-IDO 2016

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It was indeed the dance battle to end the year as 10 Salsa Couples and 10 Hiphop Crews gave it their all to win the highly coveted title of IDO 2016 Salsa Couple of the year and IDO 2016 Hiphop Crew of the year respectively at the SPAN – IDO Street and Salsa Show Dance Battle which took place, November 6th, 2016 at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

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Hosted by SPAN Head of Dance Academy (Schools & Presentation), Ukalina and Steve, the show kicked off at 5 pm, amidst great expectations and high hopes for all the contestants.

The Hiphop category was first, and after the first round and the dance-offs, it was clear that G-Reloaded Crew and 619 Crew are the top favourites for the title.

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Both Crews wowed the crowd with amazing jumps and spins, but in the end, G-Reloaded emerged winners and won the cash prize of N500,000.

After side performances by Jackson Obinna of’ Stars on Earth’and Locking Si’on, the Salsa rounds took off and it soon became clear that this competition in this category was going to be intense. Countless knee twists, sky high leaps, scintillating twists, amazing moves and more seemed to be the order of the day, as these couples gave one mind blowing performance after the other.span-228

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Then came the dance off rounds where each couple had the opportunity to mix their salsa routines with street swag, as the category had no rules. The contestants delivered and the audience went wild! And the dance battle raged on! The surprise of the night happened when SPAN Founder/Chairperson, Mrs Sarah Boulos got on stage and announced that the winning prize had just been increased from N300,000 to N400,000 and the crowd went wild!

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After a very intense battle, Michael and Esther won this keenly contested category and walked away with the grand prize of  N400,000.

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After the runnner -ups and the winners have been given their medals and cheques respectively, Mrs Boulos and the President of IDO, Nigeria, Mr Ice Nweke expressed their delight at the energy, pace and talents the contestants brought into the competition, and promised that IDO 2017 will be much bigger.

 

 

 

 

SPAN Presents the Musical Masterpiece – ‘Block 13’

As the Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN) continues to dazzle Nigeria with groundbreaking performances as seen during SPANFEST 2015, the organization is set to enchant the public yet again with its captivating production ‘Block 13’ – A Tale of Hope, Love & Wonders, which will be showcased during the MUSON Festival 2016 on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the AGIP Recital Hall, the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

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‘Block 13’ is the gripping story of a group of people who lives different lives, have different aspirations but found themselves bound together by the common hope they found in the apartment, Block 13. It is a mesmerizing plot filled with chart-topping songs and dance (which SPAN is famously known for) that will keep you on the edge of your seats.

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Sarah Boulos, the founder of SPAN said “Block 13 is the story that everyone will relate with. It shows us that within every sphere of our lives, even if things aren’t the way we want them, there is always that glimmer of hope, that in the end, everything will turn out right. It is a show worth watching”

‘Block 13’ is family –friendly, entertaining and inspire the creativity within.

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For information and booking,call 08093561000, 08093571000, 08091900700 . You can also send us a mail on info@spanigeria.org

 

 

 

A Dancer’s Style

However rigorous and uniform training may be, each dancer always has a personal style of dancing. Certain skills come more easily to some dancers than to others: one may be an excellent jumper, while another may have exquisite control and balance in slow, sustained dance passages.

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The same choreography may also look completely different when executed by two different bodies. Thus, a dancer with very long limbs will make high leg extensions look exaggeratedly long while appearing slightly awkward in fast, intricate footwork.

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Another dancer may have a great deal of energy and speed but be unable to produce a sustained and beautiful line in held positions.

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Dancers also vary a great deal in the way they articulate and project movement. Some dancers move in a way that is tense, energetic, and even aggressive in its attack, , while others appear soft and fluid.

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Some phrase their movements so that every detail is sharp and clear; others so that one element flows into another. Some move exactly in time with the phrasing of the music; others phrase their movement slightly independently of it.

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One dancer may produce movements that are dramatically charged and expressive, while another may be cool and detached, concentrating on technical perfection.IMG_9980

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Such qualities may vary so distinctively that certain dance roles become inextricably connected to the dancers for whom they were created.

No matter the style, what each dancer brings to the table is unique and unparalleled!


Why You Should learn Salsa!

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Feeling blue? Well, dancing is one of the best ways to lift your spirits and none is better than salsa! The dance originated in the 1970s, in New York, and evolved from earlier dance from South America. Dancing the salsa gives you the chance to take yourself away from the world for a while and these are more reasons why you need to learn this amazing dance style;

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 Salsa is a great way to make new friends

Salsa dancing has become a social phenomenon and taking salsa lessons is a great way to meet new people.  It’s the perfect ice breaker and, in most lessons, you will switch partners frequently, so you will get the chance to make lots of new friends.

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 Dancing improves your confidence

As you learn to master new dance moves, then your self-confidence, off the dance floor, will improve as well. It will give you a fantastic sense of achievement, which will show in your everyday life.

It will improve your posture and balance

Learning salsa will improve your balance and poise. Your own awareness of your body will improve and it will show in how you walk and move.

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Self Expression

The ability to express yourself, verbally or with movement, is important to us. Perhaps you’ll have to hear and feel the music first, to fully grasp this one, but the ability to express yourself, with another person, to beautiful, exciting and passionate music, fulfills a basic human need (that you may not even know you have).

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 It will make you feel more attractive 

Salsa is a very sensual dance and it will show you how to express your beautiful sensual side. Most people don’t often get opportunities to express this side of their personality, salsa will show you how!

Salsa is more fun than the gym

Just an hour salsa dancing will burn off around 500 calories and it’s a lot more fun than going to the gym. Dancing increases your muscle strength and reduces body fat; at last, a workout that you can really enjoy!

 

The Era

Our 4th performance show at SPANFEST was the spectacular dance concert; The Era (Era of Legends). This project was an initiative created to inspire excellence in the dance industry. It featured some of Nigeria’s best dancers from all genre and musical artistes.the era-21the era-29the era-37the era-52the era-54the era-75the era-142the era-94the era-98

 

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Movement In Moments – True Art On Point!

Through the many different deliberations of how SPANFEST 2015 was going to take shape, one thing was constant on everyone’s mind and it was that Nigeria was going to be shown what real performance art is, and how thrilling and exciting it really can be. Thus, “Movement in Moments” was created.movement-in-moments-5

Movement In Moments is a groundbreaking concept developed by SPAN and its the first of its kind in Nigeria. It is a  pioneering 5 stage show where a Violinist, Poet, Comedian, Singer & Dancer perform simultaneously while painters create masterpieces. 5 stages were set where these different artistes performed to their audience simultaneously and after a set time, they switched stage to perform to another set of Audience, again at the same time. In the background, were these hugely talented painters who created amazing pieces that was completed in a matter of minutes.

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The Comedian was Ajebo, seasoned comedian extraordinaire who got the Audience cracking up with his jokes and anecdotes

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The Singer was Stage queen, Yinka Davies who captivated audience with fun performances, she even had people singing alongside with her.

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The Poet was Donna, The Word Smith who flowed seamlessly and effortlessly in her delivery of Spoken Word and Poems.

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The Dancer was Peter James, former SPAN protégée and has gone ahead to undertake further Dance Training in France.

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The Violinist is upcoming act, Chibuike

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Leading the painters was Multi talented Ice Nweke , master choreographer and painter extraordinaire.

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In the end, SPAN Founder and Festival Director, SPANFEST 2015, Mrs Sarah Boulos, invited each of the Artistes to do an encore individually, which they did beautifully to a standing ovation.

 

Ballroom dancing; tips and tricks

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Ballroom dancing is quite an amazing feat; it enables two perfect strangers to move around a crowded dance floor, in very close proximity, in perfect time with the music, and execute intricate patterns, without bumping into other dancers or into each other and they accomplish all this while looking comfortable and graceful.

Dance students are often frustrated and find learning difficult. It is, and it should be.

Don’t be embarrassed or annoyed if you make an error. Laugh it off and try again. After all, it’s supposed to be fun.

The three most important rules in learning to dance are: PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE.

To start your learning experience, join some dance classes. SPAN is obviously the first and best choice you should make. www.spanigeria.org  here,you get to meet other aspiring dancers and top notch instructors.

Tips & Tricks

Bearing

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Stay erect, don’t slouch, arch your back. Keep your head up at all times and DON’T look at your feet.

Relax, try smiling, even if you’re concentrating.

Remember, your partner can help you, either with good leading or good following. However, your partner can’t do anything to make you look good if your bearing is wrong.

Turns and Swivels

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Turns and spins are fun to do, however, they do require some specific skills.

there are only two directions in which you can rotate; outside of your standing foot and the inside of the same foot. From both directions, you can execute five different types of turns…

1. Inside swivels

2.Outside swivels

3. Pivot turns

4. Spin turns

5. Spiral turns

What does all of this mean and how can we execute them? I can hear you say

SPAN is waiting for you… (tee hee!)

Body Contact   

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In smooth dances, whenever possible, maintain a light pelvic contact with your partner. An arched back helps to achieve this while maintaining a comfortable distance between upper bodies. Try it in closed position, angled position and promenade position. If you want to feel the difference between dancing, and dancing together, this will be an eye opener.

Men, when doing a parallel step, or a promenade, try keeping your shoulders facing your partner rather than facing the direction of your feet. It’s a bit like downhill skiing, where the feet point across the slope while the upper body faces straight down the slope.

Many ladies pull away from their partner without being aware of it. Others feel they may give the wrong impression by being close to their partner. Once you try it, however, you will be elated by the feeling of really moving in unison.

Don’t confuse this with the international or standard style of dancing which requires that body contact be maintained at all times and where underarm turns, parallel or side-by-side positions are prohibited.

Leading

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Leading has to be done in the spirit of wanting to help your partner do the pattern you wish to execute. You don’t push or shove her around. Be gentle at all times. See what works best. Concentrate on your partner. Make an effort to become a good leader.

The most important part of leading is probably body language. If your partner is attuned to you, if she listens to your body language, she can detect very slight changes in motion and direction and can react in ample time. You can consciously emphasize your body language when needed, such as when you lift your shoulder before you prepare to sway.

Leading is not something you turn on and off. When you drive a car on a straight road, you still keep your hands on the steering wheel and make small corrections when required. The same applies to the control the leader has to assume when dancing. It is always present but only used when needed.

A strong lead does not mean applying a lot of force. It is a matter of firm, continuous and steady control.

There are many ways to signal your partner what to do next. It all depends on the dance variation you’re trying to execute. The following are just a few examples.

Your right hand gently turns your partner into a promenade position. Turning your head and body toward your left gives further emphasis to the move (see the second picture above). To execute a chasse, push a little harder as if to say “we have to hustle a bit here”, and at the same time pretend to lift your partner unto her toes (gently does it).

A right hand pull also guides your partner forward into an angled position on your right or left side (such as a tango fan). This gentle pull, combined with a slight rotation of your shoulders should be enough to indicate your intention.

A firm and slightly downward pull will accomplish a tango corte, particularly if combined with a slight bending of the left knee.

If you want your partner to angle backward, use a slight shoulder movement. Push forward firmly with you right shoulder to make her angle backward to your left, and vice versa. Waltz twinkles are a good example of this technique.

Start thinking about which foot your partner’s weight is on. Trying to lead her into a move when her weight is on the wrong foot will result in some awkward stumbling.

If you’re a student, ask your teacher about these maneuvers, he can show you some very effective moves.

If you’re hopelessly out-of-step with your partner, or off the beat, stop and start again. It’s much better than to stumble along.

Following

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In close position, always look over you partners right shoulder. Your right pelvic bone should be inside your partner’s right pelvic bone. This lines up your shoulders parallel to your partner’s, the best position for moving backward and forward. Many ladies have a tendency to keep their right shoulder farther away than their left shoulder. Similarly, men have a tendency to push their partner away with their left hand or pull them too close with their right, with a similar effect. This makes it much harder to move and to lead .

Keep your left arm firm, don’t let it flex. This provides you with a tactile feedback of your partner’s movements. Whether he moves forward or backward, you’ll always keep the same distance from him (see body movement above).

Your right arm should not pull, push or otherwise exert force on you partner’s left hand. Except in certain circumstances, your left arm is used as a decoration. It is not functional.

After a promenade movement, quickly return to a close position and look over his shoulder again. This lines you up again for the next move.

Stay close to your partner and maintain body contact. You’ll feel the direction of his body movements and will be able to react more easily. Relax, don’t be pro-active, don’t try to anticipate the next lead. Don’t be too brittle or strident in your movements, become more languid, letting the man guide you along (don’t fall asleep, though). Try occasionally closing your eyes and concentrate mentally on your partners body movement and his hand, shoulder and head leads.

The only exception is when your partner is about to collide with another couple while moving backward. Warn him with a tap on the shoulder, or even pull him to a halt. He’ll thank you.

Body motion  

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When you dance, your body should be in continuous motion.

To get a smooth start, imagine the following. You are balancing a long pole upright in your right hand. To move the pole away from you, you have to first let the top tilt away from you. Then, as the pole starts to tilt, your hand has to quickly move in the same direction so the pole is balanced again. Now try the same idea with your body. Your legs and spine represent the pole. Start tilting forward or backward, then quickly move the bottom of the pole, your feet, under your shoulders to restore your balance.

The technique applies to both partners, but the most pronounced benefit is the fact that in this manner, the man telegraphs his intention to the lady who can feel his body movement with her left hand resting on his right upper arm a split second before his feet start moving. If you have a steady partner, try moving in different directions with both of your hands at your sides, and with the lady’s only contact with you being her left hand on your right upper arm.

On cross-body leads (walking around your partner), stay close and finish the step in close position. Many ladies end up a foot or more away from their partner, throwing him off balance..

Ladies, don’t roll your hips in all dances. The Cuban or Latin hip movement is reserved for Latin dances such as the Rumba, Mambo, Cha-Cha, Bolero, Samba and Merengue. The exception is East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing and Shag where top-level competitors all use a pronounced hip movement.

Footwork 

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Many dancers move with their feet apart. This makes them look awkward. Try the following. Imagine walking on a plank of wood, just wide enough to accommodate your feet, side by side. Now move forward and backward without stepping off the plank. You’ll notice that when one foot passes the other,  it brushes against it.

Get used to brushing your feet against each other moving forward and backward, then apply the same technique to moving in different directions. Whenever one foot takes a step, it touches or brushes against the other before you put your weight on it.

Note that, except where a variation demands it, one foot never crosses in front or back of the other. Each foot always stays in its own track.

Ladies, I know moving backward most of the time is difficult. However, try pointing your toe out when stretching the leading leg backward (and I mean stretching). Arching your back helps.

When you spin, either on two beats or on a triple step, stay on one spot by keeping your feet together (unless the step requires you to travel, in which case you stay on the plank). This way you wont wobble, loose your beat, or end up too far away from your partner, forcing him to chase and catch you , or rushing to close the gap.

When you kick, point your toe out and down. Pointing your toe up or inward looks very ungainly and is only suitable for some western moves (where it looks cute).

DISCLAIMER: Pictures are from a SPAN class, not every one dancing is a professional except the instructor of course.