Dancing their way to glory, victory and fame

Dancing their way to glory, victory and fame
The Adrenaline Youth Dance Company comprising students from Gems Wellington Academy perform in Dubai

Dubai - First edition of the Short + Sweet Dance competition sees encouraging response from schools


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sat 21 May 2016, 7:32 PM

Last updated: Sat 21 May 2016, 9:59 PM

For those who love to dance, there is nothing in the world that can really stop them. It doesn't matter if you're eight years old or if you're 80; when the music turns up, you groove. Given the number of nationalities who currently live in the country, there is no shortage of dancers in Dubai. From flamenco to contemporary, and from jazz to Bollywood, there are dancers from various genres who love to express themselves through dance.
Take eight year old resident of Dubai Lola 'The Warrior Princess' Martinez for example. Lola began dancing much before she started to walk, according to her father Victor Martinez. Spanish national and a student of GEMS Wellington Academy in Dubai, Lola stole the show at the first edition of the Short+ Sweet Dance that was launched by dance company, The Ripple Effect, Dance Productions. The month-long competition came to a close on May 19 after some smashing performances by 10 extremely talented dancers and troupes at the Kilachand Theatre in DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates.
Lola 'The Warrior Princess' challenged the crowd to a dance-off and charmed the viewers with dance routines that ranged from contemporary, breakdance, Afro, and hip-hop. She was awarded first place for being the best female dancer in the competition. The overall best dance performance award went to the dance group- 'School of Arts' for their electrifying Latin dance performance. Colombian national Johan Ochoa, one of the four dancers in the troupe stated that their performance was a combination of several Latin dance forms.
The best male dancer award went to Bhavik Patel for his scintillating performance that mimicked the metamorphosis of a butterfly from its cocoon stage to its death.
Lola's father and choreographer Victor Martinez stated that they've been living in Dubai for the last six and-a-half years and he is a former dancer, as well. "Lola started dancing before she could walk," said Martinez. "We used to run a dance company in Spain and now we have a dance school here in Dubai- called Ana Perez Dance, located in Silicon Oasis. As soon as Lola is on the stage, she begins to move." Martinez stated that she has a lot of talent in break dancing and she loves to dance to ballet, b-boy, and other dance genres. Lola said: "I love it all. I can't choose my favourite form. I love hip- hop, breakdance, contemporary, afro and ballet and I am glad that I get to dance a lot here in Dubai. I feel really confident when I am dancing." Organisers of the show and founders of Ripple Effect Dance Productions, Aishwayra Shivkumar and Joshua Johnson, stated that they were thrilled at the prospect and success of the show. "The responses from the auditions were fantastic and we realised that there is a thriving and enthusiastic dance community here in Dubai," said Shivkumar.
Chipping into the conversation, Johnson said: "We were amazed by the level of professionalism and passion that each of the performers had in their recitals. They were excellent." The company plans on organising the second edition of the competition Short+Sweet Bollywood later this year as well.
Colombian national Johan Ochoa, one of the dancers of School of Arts said: "I am really excited about winning the competition and was amazed at the level of competition in Short and Sweet. I never thought UAE had such competitions. I am used to doing a lot of shows." Ochoa began dancing five years ago and believes that dance is the best form of expression that there is.
Some of the other groups that performed are-Adrenaline Youth Dance Company, a group of 11-16 year-old students from Gems Wellington Academy, Ocean Kids- a Indian contemporary dance troupe, Sudha, Nritya- Bharatnatyam, The Dance Project, Power Girl, and Bokka Shake.

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