Calling all Urban, funky dancers

Pictured with fellow 'Limbo' cast members John Butler, Irena Melly, Anthony O'Hagan is Brona Jackson on the far right.
Pictured with fellow 'Limbo' cast members John Butler, Irena Melly, Anthony O'Hagan is Brona Jackson on the far right.

One of Derry’s hottest dance acts, the Brona Jackson led Urban Funk Youth Dance Summer School, opens at The Playhouse this summer.

The classes which commence July 2 will run every Saturday and cater for children aged from four to 16 years old. Brona, a Contemporary Dance degree student at University of Ulster, Magee, is also starring in ‘Sweeney Todd’ at The Millennium Forum this week, with the Millennium Forum Youth Theatre.

In fact the talented 23 year old singer and dancer is President of the University of Ulster Dance Society.

She has already worked with Community dance groups Street Feet, BodyRox, Ulster Scots agency, Strabane Sports Development and the Extended dance programme which is taught in schools across the Northwest. Ms. Jackson helped organise dance routines for every major festival in the NorthWest from Halloween in Derry to St. Patricks Day parades from here to Letterkenny, she has also choreographed the dancers at the Earhart festival, arranging the routines for local dancers alongside Diversify; In short, Brona is well known for her choreography and dancing skills.

The Browning Drive native is currently working hard putting the Foyle Follies through their paces for their upcoming extravaganza at The Millennium Forum.

Brona said: “Working on the Foyle Follies show has been amazing.

“It really has been the best crack ever, we’re flat out doing rehersals every day, working with the Follies themselves and the teams of dancers.

“The show is two and a half hours long so there is plenty to do. In addition to the Follies there are 12 of my dancers and another group of twenty on stage so there is a lot to organise. The show itself will be brilliant.”

Brona started dancing aged eight at The Grove Amateur Dramatic Society. “I went on to do disco dancing with Dimensions in Creggan.” There were then dance courses at The Northwest Academy of Art, Lawrence Hill and the prestigious Laban School of Comtemporary Dance, London. Late last year she trained at Pineapple Studios London. I owe Linda Brady my dance coach a lot,” said the modest Watersider. As well as the classes and courses Brona began competing. Those competitions not only took Bronagh across Ireland and UK but won her a wealth of titles. She qualified for Dancer of the Year twice, lifted All Ireland titles in disco dancing and her dance moves won her a role in movie ‘Limbo’ part of which was shot in Derry, alongside Street Dance 3D star Nichola Burley

However it is to the future and not past accolades Brona is concentrating on: “I’m really excited by beginning my own class, especially at an arts centre as prestigious as The Playhouse. I also wanted to set up my own independent dance group fusion combining street, contemporary, broadway and Hip Hop dance, I wanted to mix everything together. This will give children and pupils actual technical training and as I love working with children, this is my dream job.”

Ms. Jackson promises the kids will; “Be entertained every Saturday. The Urban Funk Youth Dance Summer School will offer fun, active, fit, exercise and healthy activities plus a range of dance skills disipline and performance qualities they will learn. We will also stage a professional performance in front of family and friends at the end of the month.”

The classes which run every Saturday in July will cater for juniors aged from 4 - 10 from 1pm-3pm. Older dance enthusiasts (11 - 16) may attend from 3pm-5pm.

The classes cost £40 for five weeks and discounts are available for siblings. Sign up now at 07751927876 or email urban_funk@hotmail.co.uk