GEMS Education students win at the World Street Dance Championships
Two GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis (WSO) students have danced their way into the record books and become the first UAE-based students to win awards at the globally recognised UDO World Street Dance championships. Sixteen-year-old Aston Mtada and nine-year-old Frank Tate put their school and the UAE on the world dance map when they battled against hundreds of young street and hip- hop dancers from all over the globe at the virtual championships.
Aston Mtada took the top prize, acquiring the first place in the under-18s Solo Freestyle section with his high-energy afro-beats/dancehall performance, while Frank Tate’s hip-hop round won third place in the under-10s Solo Freestyle category.
The two WSO giving art students, were amongst thousands of dancers from across the globe who came together to strive for World Street Dance Champion titles in before a panel of top judges. These dedicated Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy MBE, who worked with notable director Danny Boyle on the function of the London 2012 Olympics, and Christian ‘Big Kris’ Alozie, a founding person of UK dance group Flawless, who has collaborated with renowned artists including Beyoncé, Rihanna and Kylie Minogue.
Aston Mtada said: “I want to say thank you to my dance and performing arts teachers. I never saw me as being good, but by their support and constantly help, motivation and guidance, I know now what I can achieve!” Meanwhile, Frank Tate, who underwent his first major competition, says his love for dance made him more confident when he performed for the judges.
UDO is the world's largest international street dance organisation, and fastest-growing
street, hip-hop and commercial dance brand globally. The UDO World Street Dance.
Championships are supposed to be the height of the street dance competition calendar. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the four-day event, held from 25-30 August 2020, was fully virtual, with contestants moving up to the judges from home via webcams and video. Emma Tate, Dance Programme Manager and UDO Academy Coordinator, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, said: “We may not have gone to Blackpool, but we sure did show the world the exceptional ability we have, not only at WSO but also in the UAE.
The UDO Academy Dubai has significantly improved all of our students’ dance practice over the last seven years in addition to the excellent accomplishing arts the curriculum at WSO.” WSO is GEMS Education’s Centre of Excellence for Implementing Arts and Theatre Tech. All pupils from Foundation Stage 2 to Post-16 are exposed to performing arts lessons each week, led by a team of functional performing arts teachers.
The institution is happy to be the flagship school for the UDO Dance Academy in Dubai – an independent partnership that enhances students’ learning through the requirement of scholarships and private access to the prestigious ‘UDO Syllabus Street Dance’ qualification, which is a fully approved teaching qualification in street dance. To date, 600 WSO scholars have come through this incredible dance terms and passed their UDO exams. Both of this year’s championship-winning students are part of the school’s UDO Dance Academy Scholarship programme.
The hard work of the acting arts students and teachers remains as the new the academic year begins, and the street dance team are making moves toward even more wins at next year’s championships in August.