Meet Love 2 Dance a Community Interest Company

Love 2 Dance was started up in 2004 and is run by Founder and Managing Director Danielle Blenman.

Love 2 Dance

Love 2 Dance is a Community Interest Company which provides services as well as performances throughout the year working with different organisations and in the local community.

Hi Danielle since we last spoke to you what is new at Love 2 Dance?

Love 2 Dance celebrated a decade of dance in 2014 with our biggest ever summer showcase. Love 2 Dance is no longer a limited company and is now a community interest company which is what we are all about and best suits what I do.

I have added new classes and have two competition groups one of which has been out to America and taken part in the world all dance internationals. I also have a new project which launched in February called Us Girls which is about Inspiring and Empowering girls and young women.

For those who may not know about the dance school can tell us how it all started, and where your based?

I started Love 2 Dance when I was 19, I have always enjoyed working with young people and decided to start up a weekly dance class in a church hall in crystal palace.

I have been dancing since I can remember and putting on shows for my family with my cousins and friends from a very young age, so I have always loved choreographing and being creative.

Love 2 Dance now offers nine weekly dance classes in Beckenham, Anerley and Penge, we run a number of after school clubs and also offer singing tuition.

Throughout the year all of the dancers are given opportunities to perform at community events and shows as well as showcasing their talents at our annual summer fundraising showcase each year.

Your team are all volunteers; can you tell us more about the teachers and their skills?

Yes I am very lucky to have a great team of people from family to dancers parents who help and volunteer at every show or event that I put together.

I also have three dance teachers who teach at different classes, Abena Noel, James Goode and Sam Stokes all have different styles of dancing from jazz to hip hop and musical theatre all three teachers are very talented and have either come from a dance background or still performing, Sam was a former student of Love 2 Dance.

Love 2 Dance Enterprises is about providing a safe, fun and creative environment which encourages young people to express themselves and reach their full potential, how do you achieve this, what feedback do you get from the parents to encourage more parents to sign their children up.

Love 2 Dance is most definitely a fun and exciting place where young people can be creative, develop new skills, build on confidence and have wonderful opportunities performing throughout each year.

I am always told by parents that Love 2 Dance has brought out a more confident child and that I am an inspiration especially to the girls who attend classes. The dancers see me as a positive role model and are able to speak to me for advice in any aspect of their lives.

There have been many achievements for all the young people at Love 2 Dance which encourages them to continue to follow their dreams and be the best they can be.

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What classes are on offer, which is most popular?

Classes start from the age of two years old, my under sevens classes are called Lil monstarz and are probably the most popular classes as there is currently a waiting list to join.

I have a beginners and intermediate class which are open to anyone. Two all girl classes called Mini dolls and Hip Hop Dolls and two Competition groups called All Starz and Phoenix. Weekly Singing classes are run by Imani Blenman and Sofia Manos.

You provide After School dance classes. Can you tell us how more schools can get involved?

Schools can make further enquiries via the website or contact me directly by email.

Tell us more about the community events that you have put together through Love 2 Dance.

I put together a variety of different events in the local community throughout each year. These include Easter fun days, discos,summer showcases and I have worked alongside croydon bid providing entertainment for the Olympic torch relay, croydons big get together and the dancers perform annually at both Croydon and penge Christmas lights switch on.

Last year I ran my very first summer star camp which was only meant to run for one week an had to be extended for two weeks because of the high demand.

You recently teamed up with ‘Riarlize Your Dreamz’ party events can you tell us more about this?

Riarlize your dreamz is an events coordination and decoration company which specialises in charity, community and children’s events. Love 2 Dance events will team up with RYD to create bigger events and deliver more projects within the community.

Simone cohen is the founder and her passion is giving back, empowering and supporting the community, she is also a youth leader and volunteer.

Love 2 Dance have competed in quite a few competitions over the years and are definitely award winners. Can you tell us about your most recent achievements.

Love 2 Dance is quite new to the competition world but over the last couple of years I have been entering dancers into more competitions to help build up confidence and self esteem. It’s a great feeling to not only win an award but taking part and seeing other talented young people performing and competing.

Our most recent achievements have been winning multiple awards at an annual competition we compete at called Starpower International who come over from America each year and host a weekend long competition. Every year I enter more and more acts, last year was our 8th year competing and I entered 13 different acts.

We won in almost every category and were awarded golden tickets twice to go and compete in America. In 2015 my All Starz competed in Orlando at the World All Dance Internationals and won two 1st place awards and two 3rd place awards.

This year we have recently competed at Boroughs United and came 2nd place in the under 13s dance category.

Tell us about how you were able to compete in America, that is a huge achievement.

Thank you, it was a lot of hard work and fundraising to get out there. Originally we had won the two golden tickets at starpower which were invitations to compete in America in New jersey, unfortunately we did not manage to fundraise in time to go out there. We had been fundraising all summer and performing at events to raise money, I also created a go fund me page which we had lots of generous donations but we didn’t have enough raised by August.

We decided to continue to fundraise after being contacted via facebook by another competition in Orlando who had seen our videos and invited us over. This was the World All Dance internationals, we managed to raise what was needed and competed in November with six girls from the All Starz group. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience and we were representing England and competed against Columbia, Italy, Spain, Argentina, brazil and mexico.

A few of the dancers had never even been on a plane before so for me to be able to give them that opportunity and experience through love 2 dance was amazing. The parents missed them like mad and I missed my two daughters but everyone was so proud when we returned and it will be a lifetime memory for us all.

You have had a lot of support at your shows and events including appearances from Miss London, Belle Fisher and also Rough Copy, what influence do these guests have?

Everyone who supports and comes down to make special appearances at my events leave the young people inspired and have such a positive influence on them. I am good friends and have worked with Rough Copy and they are such amazing guys, they have continued to support Love 2 Dance over the years and have made numerous appearance sand performed at shows.

They even sent out messages of support while we were in America, we are lucky to have such great role models supporting our young people.

I feel that it is important for me to have these guests who are celebrities or have been on tv come down and meet the young people to show them that with hard work and dedication they can do anything.

You refer to yourself as a mumprenuer, how do you manage a busy career with motherhood?

I love being a mumprenuer, I am an entrepreneur but I am a mum first and I am lucky that I am able to be doing what I love every day and pursuing my dreams. It is hard work being a full time mum running a full time business especially as both my girls are still under the age of five but I have so much support around me especially from my sister and my gran who help out week in, week out with my daughters when I am teaching late.

My daughter has told me that she wants to be like me when she is older and they both love to dance.

You have a new project US GIRLS, can you tell us more?

Us girls is a project run through street games which is a sports charity. The initiative of Us Girls was to get more females involved in sports and fitness.

When I was approached to run my own Us Girls project through Love 2 Dance, I immediately started thinking of ways I could expand this idea to not only getting girls involved in more sports, fitness and of course dance but to also use the project as an opportunity to help girls and young women feel inspired and empowered.

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My us girls project not only introduces girls into more fitness activities, my aim is for each girl who joins Us Girls to take part in different workshops throughout the year to build on their self esteem and confidence.

I want to create spaces where the girls can come up with their own ideas and share their opinions to help them develop their own identities and connect with the world around them.

We had a very successful launch event in February which included a number of different workshops which focused on self esteem, body image, emotional well-being and developing. We also had performances, jewellery making and other fun activities.

I have a team of Us Women who will be running activities and workshops throughout the year including free counselling sessions for girls between 11-25 years.

Girls can sign up to join Us Girls on the events page on the Love 2 Dance website

What is coming up for Love2Dance in 2016?

We have our annual events which are the Easter family fun day on March 26th and our summer showcase on July 9th. We will also be taking part in more competitions this year but will still be involved in community events and shows around London.

You can find out and stay up to date with our list of events on our event page of the website.

Connect with Love 2 Dance

twitter.com/love2danceltd

instagram.com/love2dancel2d

www.love2dance.uk.com

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