I’m far from a newcomer to dance extravaganza, MOVE IT, but I never fail to be overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the operation every year. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, MOVE IT has changed very little since its inception. Each year the exhibition attracts an estimated 25,000 dancers visiting at some stage over the three days. Not surprising given that there is nothing a dancer can’t do here. You can dance, watch dance, buy dancewear, meet celebrity dancers and learn more about a career in dance.
The excitement is palpable as dancers young and old (mostly young) line the streets outside Kensington Olympia as far as the eye can see and shiver in the February chill. The cold doesn’t matter though, I stand near a group of girls who are gossiping excitedly about their imminent Jive class with Strictly stars Janette and Aljaz, others are keen to catch a glimpse of Flawless or Twist and Pulse on the main stage.
Each individual’s experience of the MOVE IT weekend will be unique. One thing my years of experience have taught me is that it’s best to go with a schedule of classes you want to do and performances that you want to see. I counted over eighty classes taking place just on the Saturday of this monster event. The exhibition hall at Kensington Olympia is vast and covers two levels, and with an event this popular, mobility around the stalls and stages in sometimes challenging which makes spontaneously dropping by a certain area not always possible.
My day, like many other started with Janette and Aljaz’s Jive class. Jiving at 10.30am was never going to be easy and things were a little lacklustre to start, but a flash of Aljaz’s cheeky smile and everyone seemed to warm up a bit …