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Stomp the Yard: Homecoming is the latest in a long line of street dance movies to hit our local multiplexes. Over the past few years we’ve seen an avalanche of these kind of films and there’s no doubt that they have influenced recent trends and in their own way and have led to a renewed interest in dance culture.

StY2Rising star 17-year-old Chanelle Green from Newport has been dancing since the age of seven and is the youngest member of award-winning hip hop crew DNA. She travels the world taking part in dance competitions and has just opened a studio with DNA in Telford.

Chanelle believes that dance is all about expressing yourself and having the confidence to do whatever you want to do. It’s this dilemma that Chance Harris’ character in Stomp the Yard: Homecoming has to face.

Leading up to the national ‘step offs’, Chance has got a lot to deal with: street gangs, a complicated love life and troubles at home. Not to mention having to make one of the biggest decisions of his life.

Thankfully for Chanelle, life is a lot simpler. On a week day she’s up at 6.30am for college, gets home for 5.30pm when she’s picked up for dance practice and then returns home at 11.30pm. After that there’s not much time for anything else and it’s straight to bed.

And the weekends aren’t very different. She’s in the studio teaching kids the art of dance by 11am. Chanelle got the job because street dance was so popular on TV and parents wanted their kids to learn the same thing. After all that, it’s straight back to training again at 5.30pm. There’s a lot of hard work and dedication needed if you want to make it in the world of dance.

One of the reasons so many people want to become dancers is the addictiveness of being in front of an audience. Many dancers often want to jump back on stage the moment they’ve come off. When they’re up there, everything else is forgotten about and for a few minutes nothing matters but the moves and the music. It’s what Stomp the Yard: Homecoming is about.

Something that the movie accurately reflects in real life is the dancers’ passion for what they do. The first Stomp the Yard helped introduce stomping to UK crews, with Chanelle agreeing that it ‘definitely influenced a lot of people’ who hadn’t seen those kind of moves before.

But let’s face it – these films can’t take all the credit for the popularity of dance today. When it comes to looking at this form of expression, there’s one person who manages to surpass all others.

The late, great Michael Jackson was as famous for his hypnotic dance routines as he was for his music and he continues to inspire the majority of artists today.

Even the little kids in Chanelle’s class at the Dance Factory in Telford want to learn all the MJ moves.’

StY3

From children to platinum-selling artists everyone – even street-dance professionals aspire to be like him. Back in 2009, dance crew Diversity we due to join Jackson on stage at his This Is It concert, and after his death in June the same year Usher confessed that he wouldn’t be who he is today without Michael Jackson.

With his individuality and own personal style he had the technical ability to mix and match moves without even breaking into a sweat. His infamous ‘lean’ is something that many have tried to master and his legacy continues.

Whether you see yourself as a Michael Jackson disciple or more of a popper and locker – even if you prefer to just sit back and take it all in, there’s something for everyone when it comes to the world of dance.

If you enjoyed the first Stomp the Yard then you’re really going to enjoy the sequel – there are quite a few dance moves that are going to take your breath away.

Stomp the Yard: Homecoming is out on November 29, courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Words by Antoinette Powell

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