Déda (formerly Derby Dance) has hosted hip hop events from classes to large performances for over 15 years (image right). We asked them when hip hop started at Déda, why it started, and if they had any favourite memories…
What is your favourite Déda hip hop memory?
“The first Breakjam that I organised. I came from a much more contemporary background and Hip Hop was not something that I had much experience of. It was a brilliant event, really vibrant, full of young people and tutors who loved to dance and show off their skills. It was a menu of classes that the young people could choose from in breakdance, poppin’, lockin’, street dance, lyric writing and djing. It all culminated in a Breakjam at the end where the young people and tutors could battle and try out their new skills in a supportive a fun environment. The theatre was set up for this with a live DJ and lighting.” (Rachel Austin).
“Trinity Band and Trinity Warriors performing at Déda to a sell-out crowd over two nights. We hope to repeat this in 2018 as part of our 20 year celebrations.” (Stephen Munn).
“The view from the Hip Hop Happening Stage at about 2:00pm. It stands out because we’d achieved what we’d set out to do.” (Mark Richards). View photos of A Hip Hop Happening.
What was the earliest hip hop event at Déda?
“The urban programme was well established when I started work at Déda in 2005. The Hip Hop Happening had taken place in the summer and plans were in the early stages for A Park Less Ordinary the following year. Leonard Jackson… was the person who introduced the urban strand into Derby Dance Centre which was then consolidated and embedded with the appointment of Amanda Roberts as Director. (Rachel Austin)
The Urban Programme was established before I started work here in 2006. When I started in post in October 2006 Buildings that Breathe had just taken place in Normanton – a hugely successful partnership project (Stephen Munn).
Leonard Jackson had been working in the area from the start. It was Len who introduced breaking at Derby Dance and he who first started to work with the Trinity Crew. We had lots of workshops/classes and Hip Hop weekends, featuring DJ’s and Rappers through to the various dance forms. When Amanda Roberts Joined as Director we ramped up our involvement, running up to Hip Hop Happening in 2004.” (Mark Richards).
Can you give an overview of how Deda has contributed to Derby hip hop since the early moments?
Leonard Jackson was the person who introduced Hip Hop to Déda in the early days. Before the organisation moved to Chapel Street and developed itself as a dance house, Leonard was teaching Hip Hop for the organisation. On the appointment of Amanda Roberts as Director, this was developed and became a strong delivery strand of the organisationAmanda Roberts, Baby J and Trinity were integral to the development of Hip Hop in Derby – a wealth of knowledge lies with them. This building has seen classes, workshops and performances which makes it one of the ‘home venues’ for this type of work in Derby. My understanding is that the key period for development in this area was between 2001 and 2005 under the leadership of Amanda Roberts then Director of Derby Dance.” (Stephen Munn).
“We helped to shape it and give it form along with a home for a while” (Mark Richards).
What are you really proud of in terms of Deda’s contribution to Derby hip hop?The partnerships and relationships built with organisations and individuals in Derby. There are some fantastic urban artists in the city and to be able to work with them and learn from them has been great.”. (Rachel Austin).
“Strong relationships were made that are still in place today especially with Baby J and Trinity. Rapper / Musician Obe Watson is now on the Déda Board which acknowledges the importance of Hip Hop and urban arts to the organisation’s heritage and future thinking.” (Stephen Munn).
“James Fogerty aka Foggy, who was originally in Trinity and started off his carreer at Déda (then Derby Dance), went on to become one of Déda’s Associate Artists. Foggy has since developed as an artist and is making and performing work nationally and internationally.” (Clare Limb)
What happens at Deda today in terms of hip hop?
“We still do hip hop classes for children from the age of 3 up to 19 years as part of our academy, we have representation from the urban arts on our board and have links with organisations such as Trinity Warriors and Baby J.” (Rachel Austin)
“Still a relationship with Trinity Warriors but we run our own Hip Hop Classes through our Déda Academy programme. Partnership projects with Baby People (Baby J is CEO) are ongoing including presenting at Derby Festé. We sit on the Derby Strategic Culture Group with Baby People (as represented by Baby J).” (Stephen Munn).
“Our professional performance programme presents choreographers and artists who are working in urban dance genres in an artistic context. These have included Tony Adigun’s Fagins Twist (Avante Garde Dance Company) and Marius Mates and Andrei Roman from Moving Spaces working with Theatre Absolute on Traum.” (Clare Limb).