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.

 

 

 

 

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SPAN In The Spotlight – when BBC World News came calling

The day started like every other normal day. Music classes were going on. Dancers either in their classes or choreographing and learning new dance routines, with music from boom boxes in the background, when a call came through on the office phone. It was a pleasant female voice laced with a lovely foreign accent. She was calling from the BBC World News Channel asking if they could come to do a story on SPAN. Of course, we said, Yes…absolutely!IMG_20160426_090100

 

 

For us at SPAN, there was a feeling of excitement and more importantly, it made us realize that while we are busy doing what we know how to do, creating a platform where talents in music, dance, drama, spoken word, visual arts e.t.c can be grown, and nurtured, the world was watching and taking note. It gave us a sense of fulfillment.

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A day was fixed for the BBC World News crew to come film the classes we offer and also interview SPAN founder, Mrs. Boulos on how this amazing vision started. They were to film her class as she teaches Ballet.

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And so the day came, and at 9.10am, arriving slightly late due to traffic, but in good spirits with an exciting voice to match was a lovely looking lady wearing a yellow sundress, all smiles. It was Lerato Mbele, the fabulous presenter of ‘Africa Business Report’ on the BBC World News Channel with a 2-man crew.

They were given a tour of the community centre which houses SPAN’s Academy of Dance and the Academy of Music. They excitedly set up, eager to see the kind of performances they will be filming. Because of the time allotted, they could only take the full ballet class with Mrs Boulos and a 1 minute Naija Urban dance routine. Lerato suggested that since ballet is going to be indoors, if the Naija Urban dance performance could be filmed outside on the streets would be fantastic, and we ended up doing just that.

So once, everything was planned, the actual interview and filming was easy and fun, despite some ‘electricity hiccups’ and clearing the streets to film the dance performance.

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Mrs Boulos, as usual, was a delight during her interview, and it was inspiring watching her tell the SPAN story again.

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2 hours later,the BBC crew, satisfied with their footage. Lerato, who was so excited about the SPAN vision, said she was going to tell her Nigerian friends to assist in the cause to build a world class Performing Arts Center where dreams are created and realized. In her words “The SPAN story is so beautiful and easy to tell, I can almost breathe the passion of what you do here ”

And so amidst plenty goodbyes and waves, the crew left.

3 days later, our story was aired, both online and on BBC World News Channel .

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This is just the beginning.

 

 

 

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!

 

SPANFEST 2015 Workshop – Music, Dance, Drama Like Never Before!

One of the visions of SPAN for year 2015  is to organize a one of a kind  Music, Dance and Drama workshop that will bring out fresh talent and unleash the expression in people who wanted to find their creative voice.  That opportunity came at SPANFEST 2015.

The 10 day workshop ultimately became the festival’s opening event. It consisted of Music, Dance and Drama workshops with both local and International performing Arts facilitators training registered participants and was held at The SPAN Hub, The Agidigba Community Center, 13 Davies Street, off Broad street, Marina, Lagos Island from November 7th – 16th , 2015. 9am – 6pm daily.

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The Music workshop had renowned Jazz pianist/composer/educator Mark Kross and Chesky recording artist and a leader in the Jazz education field, Louise Rogers, both from New York, USA as Instructors

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Drama

Drama Workshop was facilitated by stage veteran and Acting Tutor, Ronya Man, who is Head and Director of Arts at the International “Kimama “ campus in Israel.

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Dance workshop offered different types of Dance of which are:

Modern Jazz – Facilitated by Paris based Gaelle Gillieron, a certified Modern Jazz Instructor, a technical level dancer and a dancer for several French Contemporary Choreographers.

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Horton Technique – Facilitated by Clara Belenus, a graduate of the prestigious Alvin Ailey School and renowned Dance instructor, known for teaching creative movement, ballet and creative ballet, as well as the Horton Technique.

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Nigerian Traditional Dance – Had the award winning Dancer, Dance teacher and a choreographer of high repute, Victor Erebifa Phullu has the Instructor. With over 25 years of experience, Victor Phullu has represented Nigeria in Dance Festivals and other dance related activities, either as a dancer, choreographer, or as a facilitator. His professional competence cannot be over emphasized

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Hip-Hop – Different styles of Hip hop were taught by SPAN Dance Instructors Michael Omani, Da-Silva Ajanlekoko, Chijindu Chize and SPAN protégées, Abimbola Fakiya and Obinna Jackson.

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Naija Urban Dance– Also known as “Naija Craze” was taught by SPAN’s Surprise Jakande.

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The Workshop registered a huge number of participants all of who got the chance to perform and showcase their creativity and what they learnt at the workshop at the grand finale/ closing night of SPANFEST 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

… And SPANFEST 2015 Was Here

Ladies and Gentlemen, what a festival it was!

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Starting with performing art workshops, followed by interactive classes and performances, and then presenting events using various tools of the performing arts which included Dance, Music, Spoken Word, Visual art, Theatre and Comedy, SPANFEST 2015 revealed an understanding and awareness of a community’s historical diversity and cultural context.

The Festival kicked off with TEN days of intensive performing art workshops between November 7th – 16th, 2015 with international professors that will unveil the new voices in our Nigerian artists using the mediums of dance, music and drama.

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It was followed by five performance nights which showcased the diversity and richness of our culture and heritage. The grande finale was a family community experience. It started with the SPAN academy graduation ceremony which had both SPAN Academy of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and SPAN Academy of Dance graduating students showcasing what they have learnt from SPAN with spectacular performances. It closed with “Voice Of The Voiceless”; a final performing art production gathering 200 dancers, musicians, and actors on one stage.

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Intensive workshops, Exciting performance shows… SPANFEST 2015 remains the biggest Music, Dance and Drama Festival to ever hit this side of the planet.

We will be giving you more details on each event and how it all went down! Stay tuned!

Health benefits of dance

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These days, people love to watch other people dance. Competitive dance shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars or competitions here at home like SPAN/IDO: street dance battle and salsa show dance competition are dominating the entertainment world.

What you may not realize, however, is that dancing a great way to keep your body and mind healthy. Studies show that dancing can do a host of things which we will examine closely in this article.

Boost Memory

According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older.

Their method for objectively measuring mental acuity in aging was to monitor rates of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The study wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental acuity.  They discovered that some activities had a significant beneficial effect.  Other activities had none.

        Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia

        Bicycling and swimming – 0%

        Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week – 47%

        Playing golf – 0%

        Dancing frequently – 76%:  That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.

If the essence of intelligence is making decisions, then a valid question would be … how do you develop such a skill?

Involve yourself in activities which require split-second rapid-fire decision making, as opposed to rote memory (retracing the same well-worn paths), or just working on your physical style. One way to do that is to learn something new.

Image02838Take a class to challenge your mind.  It will stimulate the connectivity of your brain by generating the need for new pathways.  Difficult classes are better for you, as they will create a greater need for new neural pathways.

Improve Flexibility

Flexibility is an important part of being healthy. Most dance classes begin with a warm-up including several stretching exercises. Most forms of dance require dancers to perform moves that require bending and stretching, so dancers naturally become more flexible by simply dancing. Increasing your flexibility will help ease joint pain and post-exercise soreness.

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Reduce Stress

Dancing to slow music, with a tempo that is easy to follow, or dancing to a fast beat are equally wonderful ways to relieve stressful times provided you enjoy yourself. Allow yourself to feel the music, move your arms, and sway your body. Enjoy the movements as you stretch your arms, and your body to release all tension.

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Recently, a paper published in the American Journal of Dance Therapy linked tango training, meditation and exercise with reductions in stress and improvements in insomnia.

Diminish Depression

Dancing really does lift your spirits, according to a study in that tested the effects of dancing on people with depression.

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Research tells us that dancing improves mood in the following ways:

  1. Gives you an endorphin boost from exercise
  2. Increases self confidence
  3. Improves social skills
  4. Expands your social network
  5. Lifts your spirits
  6. Reduces depression
  7. Laugh at yourself (you will make mistakes)
  8. Keeps you in the moment.

Feeling a lil’ depressed? Grab a friend and go dancing.

 Help Your Heart

For someone with mild to moderate heart failure, dancing lessons may be the perfect gift this season.

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In a study, people with heart failure who took up waltzing breathed better, exercised longer, and generally felt better.

Dancing boosted heart health just as much as exercise, says researcher Romualdo Belardinelli, MD, a professor of cardiology at Università Politecnica delle Marche School of Medicine and director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at Lancisi  Heart Institute in Ancona, Italy.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2006.

 Lose Weight

Bored with your bicycle? A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that an exercise program of aerobic dance training is just as helpful for losing weight and increasing aerobic power as cycling and jogging.

In fall 2012, Roni Tarver was in a bad mood.

The 5-foot-6-inch teacher weighed 235 pounds and suffered back pain almost constantly. She was popping 10 to 15 ibuprofen daily, which took a toll on her stomach. It didn’t help that she was on her feet most of the day and dealing with the stress and exhaustion of being a relatively new teacher.

Her husband never once said anything about her weight, which made her feel worse about not taking care of herself. She had quit smoking, but knew she needed to get active because climbing stairs still left her winded.

January 3rd, 2013, she signed up for her first Zumba class.

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It was the beginning of her new life.

 Balance Better

If you are nervous about falling as you get older, some dance lessons might help ease your worries, according to a study in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity that showed tango dancing can improve balance in aging adults. Dancing requires a lot of fast movement and good posture, so frequent dancing will help you stabilize and gain better control of your body.

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Increase Energy

Can’t seem to find your get-up-and-go? Taking a dance class might help.

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Research published in The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition found that a weekly dance program could improve physical performance and increase energy levels among adults.

Dancing provides heart-healthy aerobic exercise, which increases energy by improving blood flow, in an upbeat environment that includes music and the opportunity to socialize with others. Because you have to focus to keep up with the coordinated movements and steps required in dance, dancing also provides a mentally stimulating workout.

Make Friends

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A dance class is the perfect setting to make new friends and branch out socially. Maintaining positive relationships may just rank up there with healthy eating and exercise. Being socially engaged leads to increased happiness, reduced stress, and a stronger immune system.

Ref:

WebMd, CNN, DARC festival (SPAN exchange program)