Out of breath and dripping sweat, I’ve just taken yet another dance class from the comfort of my own home.
I am now a digital dancer, consuming an endless supply of classes and tutorials from teachers all over the world.
As with many companies, the current coronavirus pandemic has brought about many changes within the dance industry, and for dance company Birdgang Ltd (Birdgang), it has been no different.
In the blink of an eye, studios were shut and training was cancelled, and they had to ask themselves “what do we do now?”.
We all flocked (pun intended) to Instagram, where IG live became the ‘go-to’ platform to deliver live classes to a wide range of audiences.
Birdgang were strategic in this, offering their classes in a way that coincided with weekly studio classes, thus ensuring that they continued to cater to dancers at different levels.
Things were going well; students were happy, until the vast number of creatives using IG live resulted in connectivity and copyright issues which meant classes were continuously disrupted.
Once again, they had to adapt.
We then flew over (pun intended) to Zoom – a way for students to also be seen during the classes. A platform where we could actually speak to each other instead of typing. A place to feel connected with each other.
These digital classes follow the same process as studio classes, where different teachers each week give us new ways to challenge ourselves, explore musicality and build on the skills we may (or may not) have.
It’s going well so far.
So why do I follow this company wherever they go? Who are Birdgang?
From their website they are a “leading UK creative company that creates, teaches, and distributes avant-garde dance content for stage, theatre, TV and film”. They “lead in evolving hip hop dance culture, educate and empower young talent and champion innovative creatives.”
To me, Birdgang are a collective who welcome dancers from all backgrounds. The atmosphere and space they create in their classes and within their training programme is one that brings pure joy. There is no judgement – just pure love.
From a Q&A with founders Simeon Qysea, Ukweli Roach and Kendra Horsburgh, they spoke of a community environment, where their ethos is “encouraging individuality by being your own self”. This is clear in the talent they have at their core, with each creative having their own unique flair, whilst having the ability to move as one in their performances.
You can see this on their YouTube and Instagram channels, and I’d encourage you to do so.
From ‘Rosetta’ by Ukweli Roach to Birdgang’s 2019 Dancers Delight set, from Kenji Matsunaga’s ‘Sunday Vibes’ to Kayla Lomas-Kirton’s judge demo at the 2017 UDO World Championships, it is evident that they are a force to be reckoned with.
So who are Birdgang?
Written by Liz Kamille
Find out more about Birdgang!
Book Classes: https://www.birdgangltd.com/book-online
Follow on Instagram: @birdgangltd