Plymouth hosting ground-breaking hip hop dance festival

Plymouth hosting ground-breaking hip hop dance festival

Two of the leading names in the Plymouth street dance scene are coming together in May for the groundbreaking festival of hip hop dance theater Breakin’ Convention. Chris Gilchrist and Drew Shears are both representatives for the event, helping to shape and promote the two-day spectacle which will be held at Theater Royal Plymouth (TRP) on 23–24 May.

This will be the 20th year of Breakin’ Convention and audiences can expect stunning performances from internationally celebrated poppers, lockers, b-boys and b-girls, alongside talented local artists and bands. Chris was a founding member of Plymouth’s first street dance crew Beat-Breakers in 2002, and later, Devon and Cornwall’s first dance studio dedicated to street dance styles, Rhythm City.

Drew has been teaching street dance since 2009 in the South West. He currently runs The Groovement Project Dance Company, which has grown to become one of the most successful dance companies in the UK. His team won more titles than any other in the country.

Chris never thought he would have a career in dance. He said: “It was just a hobby, it kept me out of trouble and I enjoyed it. Getting into dance kept me away from all the negative stuff. I would practice and put all my effort into dancing.

“Then I started teaching some young kids in the local park where we trained. I became addicted to teaching and imparting knowledge and decided to open a safe space where people can come and learn.”

Chris has won numerous local and national awards for his work and was also selected as one of the Queen’s baton bearers for the Commonwealth Games. He was also a Pride of Britain Award finalist in 2017.

He continued: “Through dance I grew in confidence and people skills. I never knew how to gauge myself when speaking in different settings. It’s the same with many of the young people we work with. They don’t just grow not as dancers, they grow as people.”

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