Shut Up & Dance: An inside look at NCL Dance Club's spring show

Daisy Harrison sits down for a chat with NCL Dance Club...

Daisy Harrison
8th March 2023
Image: Instagram @ncldanceclub
I sat down with NCL Dance Club’s Show Coordinator, Imogen Winfield, to discuss their upcoming show: Shut Up & Dance.

Can you explain the show and the main concept behind it?

The show is a compilation of everything that everyone in Dance Club has been working on all year. We will be performing dances that we’ve been competing with, and by show time, we will have been to five competitions with all levels, from beginners, to advanced. All of the dances that we’ve been competing with will be in the show, and then there’s show dances, which anyone can get involved with. In total, we’re having between 30-35 dances.

Why did you choose the name the show Shut Up & Dance?

Every year, the show name is based on a song. The song we choose will be in the promo video and the show finale, so it all ties together. I feel like Shut Up & Dance is a good song for the show because everyone knows it.  

Why should people buy tickets? What can they expect from the show?

The show involves a range of all abilities, and there’s lots of different styles: jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary, street, lyrical, and wildcards (solos/duos/trios). It’s got something for everyone, and if you did ballet as a child, for example, you might want to watch people do the same kind of dances as you used to. Or you might watch something like street, which you don’t know a lot about, and think that it’s really cool.

Where is it being held? Why did you decide on this venue, rather than the same venue as last year, which was the Tyne Opera House?

The show is being held in Northern Stage. We’ve done it here in the past and we always do our competition at Northern Stage. Personally, I like the theatre there; the stage is big, there’s lots of seats, and because of the competitions, we’ve got a good working relationship with them, so I felt that it was a good choice of venue.

What is your role in the show?

I am the show coordinator. I’ve been involved in booking the venue,  as well as liaising with the Northern Stage staff to sort out tickets, and ticket prices. My current project is the running order. We’ve got about 200 people performing, and a lot of people are in up to 11 dances in the show, so working out the running order has been quite a big task.

Are you going to be involved in any dances? Or are you strictly working behind the scenes?

Yes, I am in 11 dances – whether I’ll regret that on the show night or not is a different question! But it’s not just me on my own. I’ve got people helping me with stage management and everyone in Dance Club is willing to help where they can – I’ve got a good team.

Which dances are you looking forward to seeing the most?

I love watching street. It’s not what I’m great at, but the streets dances are always so well put-together and great to watch. I think the audiences really enjoy watching them too. We’ve got a couple of street wildcards, which I think are really cool.

Do you think there’s a different atmosphere between the show and competitions, since everyone involved with Dance Club is able to perform in the show?

There definitely is. With competitions, you want dances to perform as well as they can. This is the case for the show as well, but usually by the time we get to it, people have had lots of practice with performing. With competitions, the atmosphere is very supportive; there’s always lots of Dance Club members in the audience, whereas the vibe for the show is different, as everyone is backstage. The show is a way of showing off to family and friends what we’ve been doing throughout the year.

Would you encourage anyone reading this article to get involved next year?

Definitely. I would encourage anyone to come along to watch the show this year, but I think performing on stage, even as a beginner, and having the audience cheering for you is such a good feeling. There’s a big expectation of commitment within Dance Club, so everyone has been rehearsing so much, and the show is a reward for the hard work you put in. Plus, performing on stage, in costume, is so much fun!

How are you getting the costumes?

We try and re-use the costumes as much as possible, but the teachers get a budget for everyone in their dance. It’s up to the teaches to organise what they would like their dancers to wear, which means there’s lots of variety.

How much are the tickets and where are they available to purchase?

Tickets are available on the Northern Stage website. Adults are £16, students are £10, and under 12s/over 65s are £8.

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