Small steps raise over £800 for charity with online danceathon


By Eddie McAteer, Sports Editor

On Sunday, the University of Bristol Modern Jive Society, along with three University dance societies and Mevans Dance, raised over £800 in a charity danceathon. The money will go to Bristol Black Carers and NHS Charities Together.

This weekend, the living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms of Bristol students were filled with the rhythmic patter of feet performing a variety of dances.

Unable to use their usual venue, the Modern Jive Society have had to adapt | University of Bristol Modern Jive Society

Moves typically found on the beaches of the Dominican Republic and the vibrant sets of Bollywood movies were on show in homes across the UK.

Teaching these moves were dancers from around the world, including Bristol, Sicily and Nairobi. They delivered seven, 45-minute sessions on Modern Jive, Bachata, Salsa, Swing, in addition to a well-being workout.

Starting with Modern Jive, Matt and Sarah taught viewers how to do a line dance that can be adapted to the two-person Jive. This involved a step-by-step guide (literally) as they eased people into the style with their enthusiastic attitude.

After a short break, the speed of the dancing increased as Nadia led a Bachata session from the 35-degree heat of Sicily. Normally quite a sensual dance, the one-person Bachata was toned down for the group but maintained its hip-oriented core.

From one Latin dance style to another, Noemi took a Salsa class whereby the elegant twists and turns of the Cuban style were introduced to the participants.

As the energy of the day started to take its toll, dancers were transported to 1920s America thanks to Joel and Emily’s Swing class. The shuffling and shimmying of this dance was the perfect way to start off our very own Roaring Twenties.

Newcomers were then introduced to the energetic workouts of Matt Evans, who put everyone through their paces with a high-intensity session. He put on a full-body routine just in case people weren’t tired enough after three hours of dancing.

Matt later returned to give us a different, interesting take on Modern Jive. He helped participants let go of their worries and express themselves through dance.

Sandwiched between Matt’s two sessions was the University of Bristol Bollywood Dance Society. All the way from Nairobi, Ruhi delivered a brilliant lesson on Bollywood and its intricate hand gestures.

The famous style, originally from Bombay (now Mumbai) is characterised by its vibrance and transformed a grey Sunday afternoon into a lively experience for all on the call.

Make sure to check out the Bristol Online Charity Danceathon on the 26th of July to learn some Bollywood, Jive, Salsa and various other dance styles!! 😍😊

Posted by UoB Bollywood Dance Society on Thursday, 16 July 2020

It also goes without saying that the danceathon has raised a phenomenal sum of money for two charities who have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bristol Black Carers helps to deliver culturally appropriate support for young carers from BAME communities and their families in Bristol. During the pandemic, it has delivered meals, provided support on the phone and assisted people with their finances.

NHS Charities Together is a collective organisation that represents over 230 NHS charities. During the pandemic, the NHS’s importance has been more evident than ever before. Modern Jive’s danceathon will add a little something to making sure it gets the support it deserves.

As someone with questionable dancing ability, the sessions created an encouraging environment in which everyone could learn something new. The event as a whole was a great success and the money raised will certainly benefit two very worthy causes.

Featured: University of Bristol Modern Jive Society

Were you wearing your dancing shoes on Sunday?