New Pathway for UK Hip Hop Talent Opens: Academy Breakin’ Convention announces Head of School and callout for applications
In hip hop’s 50th anniversary year and ahead of the first Olympics to feature breaking as a sport, a new pathway for talented performers has been announced by Sadler’s Wells. Applications open today for Academy Breakin’ Convention, the new hip hop theatre school that’s one of the major initiatives at Sadler’s Wells’ fourth London venue, Sadler’s Wells East, due to open next year as part of the East Bank development in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Heading up the groundbreaking project is artist-educator Niquelle LaTouche who has been appointed Head of School. The Artistic Director is Jonzi D, founder and Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention and a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist.
Young people are invited to apply for Academy Breakin’ Convention’s two-year course for 16 – 19 year olds, based at the state-of-the-art dance facilities of Sadler’s Wells East. With intensive, practical training in hip hop performing arts and a focus on live performance and theatre production at an international standard, the academy aims to develop the next generation of hip hop theatre artists.
Students will achieve a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performance and Production Arts, specific to hip hop theatre. The course will cover all the artistic elements of hip hop theatre, including classes in breaking, DJing, emceeing, graffiti, hip hop social dance, music production and popping.
Niquelle LaTouche is an artist-educator invested in creating spaces of creative collaboration and togetherness. She is the founder of Niquelle LaTouche Arts (2014) and It Takes a Village Collective (2020) which are hubs for empathy building, challenging normative ideas and encouraging proactive social change. Niquelle is a trained fine artist, experienced poet and choreographer and an English specialist spanning supplementary, language schools and mainstream secondary education. She is an advocate for cross-disciplinary practice and champions the development of pedagogy, curriculum and more inclusive and equitable resources which empower, raise attainment and shift cultures.
She performed at Breakin’ Convention’s 15th anniversary in 2018 with Boy Blue Entertainment and has participated in Breakin’ Convention’s artist development projects Open Art Surgery and Higher Learning.
Niquelle LaTouche said: “As the Head of Academy Breakin’ Convention, I am excited to guide a new generation of polymaths to understand the importance of care, equip them with skills to make undeniable art and raise awareness of their responsibility as future leaders.”
Jonzi D said: ” I dreamt of this when I was 15. I imagined a theatre school like Fame the TV show, but set in east London! Featuring talented young people of a variety of ethnicities and social backgrounds, all with a shared passion and desire to achieve excellence in hip hop culture. In the same year that breaking is represented in the Olympic Games, Academy Breakin’ Convention will nurture the next generation of hip hop theatre artists, leaders and game changers! I’m especially excited and proud to welcome Niquelle LaTouche as Head of Academy Breakin Convention. With her experience as an English teacher, poet, dancer and artistic leader, she is very well equipped to lead this organisation to greatness.”
Academy Breakin’ Convention will offer outstanding free training courses delivered in partnership with and funded by Big Creative Training, part of London’s largest creative college.
To find out more about Academy Break-in’ Convention, visit here…