High Street flash-mob invites Winchester to ‘Step Up’ and dance

Press Release: 08/04/2014

Flash Mob, Winchester

Winchester City Council is putting dance in the spotlight by delivering its own version of a popular TV dance contest. Called Step up! Winchester, the competition challenges local people of all ages to take up dance and become healthier in the process.

At 1pm today (Tuesday 8 April) City Council staff ‘flash-mobbed’ the High Street to announce that tickets will soon be on sale for the grand finale performance on Sunday 11 May at Guildhall Winchester.

A flash-mob is a choreographed dance in a public place – whilst it appears to be spontaneous, it is actually carefully planned. Around 20 Winchester City Council staff - all street-dance novices - have been training in their lunch breaks over recent weeks with local street dance company Integr8. They performed a four-minute routine to Pharrell Williams’ Happy.

Belinda Ambrose, Winchester City Council’s Troubled Families Officer, who led Winchester City Council’s flash-mob crew, said:

I have really enjoyed practising the routines with my council colleagues. It has been great fun spending our lunch hours dancing and getting fit at the same time.

The Step Up! Winchester project has matched local ‘VIPs’ who have no dance experience with six dance clubs and schools from across the Winchester District. Over the coming weeks they will learn a routine, each one from a different dance style. At the big finale on 11 May, the judges and a voting audience will identify the winner.

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

Step Up! Winchester, promises to be a fun event. However, it also has a more serious aim: in the wake of the 2012 Olympic Games, the Council has committed itself to increasing participation in physical activity. Dance can have the same health and well-being benefits as sport and may appeal to those who avoid more traditional forms of physical exercise. Dance is for people of all ages and abilities, as we have seen from recent television programmes like Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew.

The dance schools taking part are: The Firefly Theatre School, Salsa Y Sol, Platform School of Dance, NuTango, Roynon Dance and Integr8. The local VIPs will be announced on Twitter (using the hashtag #StepUpWin) over the coming weeks. Follow @WinchesterCity for the latest on Step Up! Winchester or head to Winchester Tourist Information Centre on the Broadway to reserve your tickets in advance.

The Step Up! Winchester show night promises to be a glitzy, prestigious, and talked-about event.