15 year old Lisandro Pinto has become one of the rocks of the Jack Petchey Foundation Step into Dance programme, which has helped to develop him as a strong leader and motivator for other young dancers across London.
Lisandro, who attends Dunraven School, took part in the 2013 Step in2 Battle finale held at Swanlea School in Whitechapel in December, where dancers from across London came together to show off their slickest tricks and skills with the chance of winning one of our four battles: Beginner's, One on One, Crew and Breakin.
Lisandro won the Ultimate Crew Hip Hop best solo battler for 2013, and began applying to colleges and sixth forms that will enable him to continue studying dance.
Caroline Andrews, who teaches Lisandro at Dunraven said, “Step into Dance has motivated Lisandro to strive for a future his is so passionate about. Lisandro has always enjoyed dance, but since working so closely with Step into Dance teacher Oliver Fitzgerald, he has developed in so many ways. He is driven to succeed and is much more mature in his attitude towards school in general.”
When interviewed and asked why he dances, Lisandro replied, “There are three reasons why I dance; firstly I love dance, secondly I love dance, and thirdly I love dance!!”
Lisandro has been a part of Step into Dance for three years, and although he was suspended for poor timekeeping earlier on, he has since applied himself fully and become a constant presence and influence in both the Step into Dance and Street Dance programmes.
In January 2014, Lisandro was chosen to represent London's most exciting and innovative dance troupe, the Blue Boy Entertainment Hip Hop Dance Company, marking another step forward in his sensational dance career. Established in 2001 by dancer/choreographer Kenrick “H2O” Sandy and music producer Michael “Mikey J”Asante, whose aim was to encourage youth to embrace dance whilst teaching discipline, team-building and exposing them to performance and storytelling, Boy Blue have gone from strength to strength, their shows selling out within hours of tickets going on sale.
Step into Dance is fully inclusive community dance programme ran in partnership between the Jack Petchey Foundation and the Royal Academy of Dance. The programme currently runs in 200 secondary schools across 32 London Boroughs and Essex, and offers weekly extra-curricular dance lessons to students who would not otherwise have access to quality dance provision.
Lisandro’s teacher Oliver Fitzgerald said, “I have more respect for the youth of today than ever. Each student I teach is unique and comes from a totally different place and background. When their energy is put into something creative you can see a huge difference in students’ attitudes and communication skills.”To find out more about Step into Dance, click here!
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