Step Live Festival, Step into Dance’s annual celebration of dance, returned for the first time in three years on 12 July. The event, which took place at London’s Cadogan Hall, saw over 350 students perform for family, friends, and invited guests.
Delivered by professional dancers, Step into Dance supports young dancers to progress, excel, and realise their creative potential. A Royal Academy of Dance programme in partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation, Step into Dance reaches secondary school students across London and Essex offering a broad dance programme. Schools and students benefit from opportunities to get involved in a wider programme of workshops and performances.
All of the participating dancers were involved in the Step into Dance programme, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary. Audiences got a taste of hip hop, contemporary, commercial styles and afro across two performances. 23 schools were selected to perform, from a total of 49 applicants.
Because of the pandemic, this was many students’ first experience of performing in a professional venue, and the atmosphere was electric. Dancers cheered on their fellow schools from the hall’s circle, which allowed them to see what their peers had been working on and experience a range of different dance styles. Natasha Beuselinck, a sports coach and drama teacher at Swiss Cottage School, said, ‘the students enjoyed it and the parents absolutely loved it, they were very emotional!’
Foteini Christofilopoulou’s photos of Step Live at Cadogan Hall
‘I was incredibly proud of each and every one of the dancers who took part in the stunning Step Live performance,’ said Tim Arthur, CEO of the RAD. ‘Each one radiated creativity, commitment and joy. It was a wonderful and moving event and it’s such a privilege for the RAD to be working so closely with the Jack Petchey Foundation and with our wonderful dancers.’
After a busy day of rehearsal and performance, the dancers received a standing ovation from an excited audience.