Sheffield dancers pack a boxing punch

Hype dance crew and Junior sitter perform a new routine at St Thomas Boys Club
Hype dance crew and Junior sitter perform a new routine at St Thomas Boys Club
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In the red corner we have boxing... and in the blue corner, dance...

Now the two polar opposites are coming together for an unusual premiere - a project that puts dancers and boxers into the ring together.

Savage Beauty has been devised by Anna Olejnicki, the artistic director of Sheffield company Hype Dance, with performers working alongside boxers at Brendan Ingle’s celebrated Wincobank gym.

“There are so many similarities as well as differences between the worlds of boxing and dance,” said Anna.

“Footwork and timing are so important to both boxers and dancers but, even more importantly, I also wanted to explore the various emotions of boxing through the medium of dance.”

The Arts Council provided funding for research and development over the summer, with both Brendan and former world champion Junior Witter taking an active role as the project grew.

Now, following a successful showcase of the work in progress at the Ingle gym, Anna is fundraising to develop a full-length version of Savage Beauty.

“As well as a piece of dance, there will be a South Yorkshire-wide education project to support young people working with boxers and dancers to create their own pieces inspired by Savage Beauty,” she said.

“It’s been a great skill sharing opportunity and has also given me and my dancers the chance to learn from the incredible work ethic boxers bring to training.”