What an amazing time we had coming together as a community with Hakim Saber and his skate crew, Unique Flow, for Dance Skate Jam! Hakim and Unique Flow worked with Hawley Primary School and Castlehaven Community Association to create a community dance piece which they piloted as part of our Festival of Commissions back in July.
Hakim Saber is a professional dancer with 14 years’ experience specialising in breaking, house and contemporary. Like many, when the pandemic hit, with limited opportunities to work, he was forced to think in new ways. Featuring a spoken word artist and music producer and fusing skating with various dance styles, Hakim created Dance Skate Jam to explore the cultural significance of roller skating in the black community, whilst reflecting on the past and looking to the future.
On Saturday 24 July, Hakim and crew were joined by around 100 people from the local community, including 28 young people from Hawley Primary School, their teacher and young people from Castlehaven Community Association.
The crowds enjoyed dancing, skating, jamming and impromptu dance-offs, as well as the scratch performance of the new Dance Skate Jam choreography. Many of the children and audience members even donned a pair of skates and got involved in the action, including a couple of our own Wac Arts staff!!
Hawley Primary’s teacher said of the day: “It’s just been a lovely way to finish off [the term] as well, to bring them together at the end of a really stressful year in a fun way that they’ve engaged with… it’s super inclusive and just lovely. It really feels like a community. It’s great.” With one of the parents adding: “This has been so magical. You’ve brought everybody together after being alone for such a long time.” The feedback from the children involved was equally as positive; they said it was:
“I was nervous at the beginning. But then it was really fun because I feel free”
“It has been very exciting”
“I’m really happy and proud because I wasn’t confident at first”
We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved and to those who joined us on the day for making it such a special event. And for those of you that missed it, take a look at the film by Nice One Film Productions which shares some footage of the event itself and a sneak peek of the work in the lead up to Dance Skate Jam.