I went to the final day of this year’s move it both a bit of a wander and to write about it for a dance website. When I was a student both at a dance school and university Move It was one of the biggest events of the year and every year i’d go to Earl’s Court Olympia with friends and family to soak up the madness. I haven’t been for the past couple of years so was keen to come back and see what was going on. This year for the first time it was held at East London’s ExCel Centre and was as crazy as I remember.
1. ExCel is waaaaaaay better than Earl’s Court Olympia for an event like this.
The three main pro’s to the ExCel are that it’s easier to get to (DLR, Jubilee Line and even the Emirate Air Line if you’re feeling particularly fancy), its significantly bigger and there are more places to eat/drink/relax. Move It is overwhelming as an event with hundreds of exhibitors, performances, classes and thousands of dancers flocking through its doors each day over the weekend. ExCel just seemed substantially more equipped for an event of this scale and even though it was arguably the most epic event yet, it was chaos free in terms of getting in and out.
2. Dance Moms hysteria has reaches peak craziness.
It was hard to take 5 steps without seeing a 10 year old clad in an ALDC sports jacket. ALDC of course standing for the Abbey Lee Dance Company, the focal point of TV phenomenon Dance Moms. I’d seen on social media that Miss Abbey herself would be there but nothing prepared me for the size of the queue for the honour of a picture with her. I heard that she was charging £10 for a signed photograph…..I really hope thats not true!
3. Some of the exhibitor stands were like movie sets!
Theres always a vibe of competitiveness between dance colleges at Move It, which is of course to be expected, but what rang particularly clear was the unspoken competition of ‘who has the flashiest stand’. One school had a full size London double decker bus and one had a VW Camper van complete with free pick and mix – it’s certainly flashier than I remember before, but then this years Move It had definitely cranked everything up a level in all departments including the programming, so it’s no surprise that all the leading dance colleges raised the bar too.
4. There are approximately 10000000000 dance colleges.
There’s always been lots of dance colleges, of course the main London ones have always existed but gradually over the years more have sprung up around the country. When walking around I noticed the geographical spread of the dance colleges now spreads out way further than the capital and it’s brilliant to see……..although slightly scary too. Is there enough work to go around?
5.Tap is way cooler than when I used to do it.
It’s probably been 4 years now since I did regular tap classes. ISTD tap of course, with that wonderful syllabus music to go with the wings and time steps. I always loved tap and I always thought tap was super cool, so perhaps thats a bad way of putting it – but walking around Move It i’ve never seen tap looking so damn edgy. At the Harlequin Dance Floors stand Tap Attack had set up camp and were freestyling to quire the crowd at times and they were wearing quite the footwear! The crazy tap shoes you can buy now have no limit, full metal heels, every colour of the rainbow (I’ve now discovered Rubén Sanchez Dancewear) and every material from suede to ‘alligator’. If only I could have had a pair snazzier than my boring black Bloch taps.