A knockout blend of boxing and street dance is going into the classroom at three South Yorkshire Schools.
The opposing worlds of sport and art are brought together in a major project from Sheffield’s Hype Dance Company, which sees artistic director Anna Olejnicki working alongside champion boxer Junior Witter to encourage young people to create their own dance works.
It is the latest phase in a scheme that was piloted at Sheffield’s Hinde House School in 2013 and then proved a great success in Junior’s hometown of Bradford.
And now the project is being developed further in three South Yorkshire schools, Wath Comprehensive, Dearne Advanced Learning Centre in Barnsley and Hallcross Academy in Doncaster.
Also taking part is Hype Dance’s own Krunk Youth Dance company.
Hype artistic director Anna Olejnicki joins Junior to work with the teenagers, helping them to devise their own piece of physical theatre based on the tough world of boxing and influenced by Street Dance.
All four groups will then visit the world famous Brendan Ingle boxing gym in Sheffield to perform their work in front of an audience and watch the professional dancers and boxers do their own performance too.
“I can honestly say it has been one the most exciting community projects I have ever been involved with,” said Anna.
“To have a sporting legend like Junior Witter on the team is inspiring to everybody involved.
“The important thing, though, is that the students will come up with the concepts for the piece and create something that young audiences can really relate to.”