Our Mighty Groove February R&D Week at Sadler’s Wells

We had a fabulous time at the Lilian Baylis Studio for a week of research and development (R&D) for our upcoming show Our Mighty Groove. This week was extra special as we worked with young people aged 16-19 with an interest in dance and understanding what it takes (behind the scenes) to create a show going from the initial idea to show day.

There was laughter, tears of joy as each person pushed past their comfort zones reaching new heights in their performance skills while discovering the incredible gift and talent they possess, lots of 5, 6, 7, 8, character development and exclusive music specially created by our Musical Director & Composer Kweku Aacht all the way from Accra, Ghana.

And I want to give a massive shout out to our Associate Choreographer Kloé Dean and Rehearsal Director Joanne Bernard who joined me for this week and in my opinion are LIVING ICONS.

We’re so excited to bring this show to life for you!

Vicki x

Testimonial from Riley-Ann’s Mum about her experience with Uchenna during the R&D week:

Riley-Ann, had a huge development and growth experience, participating in the Uchenna Dance ‘Our Mighty Groove’ R&D week at Sadler’s Wells, 2024.

Riley-Ann felt privileged to be part of the intimate group of professional dancers and young emerging dancers age 16+.  Early on day two Riley-Ann had a moment of self doubt, not believing she belonged in the room because the emerging dancers were strong, the professional dancers are exceptionally talented and the creative team are super skilled in teaching fast choreography, from different dance genres “how will I keep up” Riley-Ann thought.

The Uchenna Dance creative team Vicki, Kloe and Joanne provided a supportive, safe and extra caring environment, this energy filtered down to all the dancers and the positive vibration and frequency filled the Lilian Baylis theatre space, everyone felt that beautiful energy.  Later on day two Riley-Ann found her confidence to share her fears and thoughts within the circle of love with all the other dancers and creative team.  At the end of day two Riley-Ann sprinted off the cliff edge of fear and finally found her own rhythm and flow, managing to do Miss Kloe Dean’s choreography which felt like a miracle to her.  Riley-Ann found Vicki’s class soothing and Joanne’s class speedy “don’t blink, you don’t want to miss a step” Riley-Ann said on the train.

Riley-Ann found the the Uchenna Dance R&D week mentally challenging and physically hard work but equally it was a safe space, a creative playground for intergenerational dance expression (Riley-Ann being 12 and some of the professional cast within there 30’s) and providing agency for spiritual freedom to explore movement.

Uchenna Dance is the GIFT.

Once again, thank you Vicki Igbokwe-Ozoagu for the invitation.

Selma Nicholls, aka Riley-Ann’s Mum.
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