Newham’s Boy Blue Entertainment head to Sadlers Wells
PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 April 2016
“I didn’t want to be a dancer, I thought dancing was for girls.”
This is from the same man who has danced with Mystique, choreographed for the Olympics, and taught hundreds of youngsters to break into the world of dance.
East Ham resident Kenrick “H20” Sandy, 35, says he was into football and was set on becoming a graphic designer when he stumbled on dance in his late teens.
He was playing basketball at Forest Gate youth centre while his brother and best friend Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante danced in a hip hop and street dancing class in the same building.
“When I started watching them break dancing, I saw the physical side of it – I was always really into P.E.,” explained the dad-of-three.
At Barking & Dagenham College, where he studied performance dance, “things started getting serious”.
“I decided I was going to live my life,” he said simply.
“My mum didn’t understand what I was doing until she saw one of our performances – she realised how much discipline I had.”
Just three years later, at 21, Kenrick joined forces with Mikey J to form their own group – Boy Blue Entertainment (BBE).
“We already had about 80 people. People wanted to dance so we thought, why not put something on locally?”
The duo became more knowledgeable “about the art of hip hop”, and grew their group of different-aged classes. In 2006, their performance of the Pied Piper scooped the Olivier Award, while both continued to dance and choreograph. Now the pair continue to blend their love of dance with mind-bending moves to transport youngsters into dance.
At Centre Stage Studio in Maryland, around 150 students from four into their thirties attend their training programme throughout the week. The majority are from Newham, but budding dancers come from as far as Kent, Portsmouth and Kent to learn their trade.
Next weekend, the professional wing of this group will take to the stage at Sadlers Wells to take part in an international hip hop festival, Breakin’ Convention.
“It’s about making people feel what living is about. We are travelling, playing in the moment, because all you have is yourself.”
BBE will perform Emancipation of Expressionism at Sadlers Wells at 6pm on Sunday, May 1. Tickets from £15 for the three-day festival.
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