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Plymouth’s Street Factory encourage people to get involved in dance movement

Plymouth’s Street Factory Charity, creators of the UK’s first Hip Hop theatre, are continuing to reach out with their well-known positive vibe as they continue to stay connected with their community.

Encouraging the people of Plymouth and beyond to use the power of dance to connect with all nations through learning the simple steps of the trending Jerusalema dance.

The Jerusalema challenge is a gospel-influenced house song by South African producer, Master KG and performed by singer-songwriter, Nomcebo. Co-founder of Street Factory, Toby G, has created a tutorial of the dance moves for people in Plymouth and beyond to learn and post online, tagging their friends, family and co-workers, challenging them to also do the dance in a bid to forge connections on a global level during the global pandemic.

The dance trend began in February of last year, when Fenómenos do Semba, a group in Angola, south-west Africa, recorded themselves dancing to the song while eating and without dropping their plates. The dance gained momentum almost immediately, entering the western world.

The Street Factory team are so taken with this global dance phenomenon that they will be incorporating this into their Mayflower honorary commemorative dance activity in July 2021, titled ‘Roots Up!’, more details of which to be announced shortly. As part of this activity, the team will focus on links between Plymouth, the USA, the Netherlands and the Wampanoag tribes. However, this dance spans all nations.

The song’s lyrics, “Go with me, protect me and don’t leave me behind” resonates with Toby G’s life story. Toby arrived in Plymouth from his native Poland aged just 14, unable to speak a word of English. He and his family, all members of the Romani gypsy community, were fleeing persecution and came to Britain seeking refuge. The lyrics also resonate with the wider Mayflower story and generally echo the sentiment of the world right now as we collectively battle through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toby G, who was awarded an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge in 2018 for his Outstanding Community Contribution said,

We are so excited by the Jerusalema dance challenge and love everything this stands for as a literal mass ‘movement’. It’s fun, positive, uplifting, joyful and uniting. So much so, that we will incorporate this into our Mayflower 400 commemorative activity later this year, as its topical, contemporary and relevant to today with the overarching theme of connection across borders.

This is particularly important during a time when everyone is feeling isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dance and music are universal, they see no boundaries. Here at Street Factory, we also don’t see boundaries or race, we believe we are all one. So, come on people of Plymouth, get learning this dance, remaining socially distanced of course and strictly within your bubbles. I can’t wait to see you all move.

The dance can be viewed and learnt here: Please send your videos through to Street Factory’s Facebook page and the team will share across their platforms.

Image credit: Street Factory