The ANSD dance group from England share their thoughts on why dancing is important to them and how they want to improve and grow as in as many ways as possible.
Full name: Amanda Nicole School of Dance
City: Newcastle upon Tyne
ANSD: We’re a fresh, dynamic and exciting Urban Dance Crew! We Break Dance & use Heelys in our sets and we’re constantly evolving
and will always innovate to bring that ‘next level’, ‘never before seen’ element into our performances.
ML&L - How long have you been dancing?
Amanda Nicole - ANSD have been together since 2009, but our latest member joined us in 2016, so you could either say we’ve been together for 1 year or 8… you choose!
ML&L - How does dance inspire you?
Amanda Nicole - Dance inspires us on so many levels. It’s hard to know where to start! There’s a creativity that comes when starting a new piece
(whether that be inspired by music, by an event we’re getting ready for, or both etc.),
that reminds us just how much dance inspires us all! We centre ourselves around the principle that ‘impossible’
is just an idea and we all see that in our lives. ‘Impossible’ only means ‘something that hasn’t been done yet’
and we constantly see that in dance. Whether that be a new move nobody’s seen before, or a show or some choreography
that’s just so innovative, it opens up a whole new world to the observer of what IS possible and what’s still left
to discover! Dance does this so well and we’re inspired by it every single day!
ML&L - What are some of your goals for dance?
Amanda Nicole - To perform to as many people as we can, in as many different event types and at as many different locations as humanly possible! We want to travel the world!
To continue to incorporate brand new, never before seen elements to our sets.
To improve and grow as in as many ways as possible.
ML&L - What type of dance do you practice/train?
Amanda Nicole - In the main, we practice street dance (house, popping, locking, LA style, waving, etc.) and break dance, but some of us are cheerleaders and some of us have studied ballet and contemporary and have experience in jazz and musical theatre. And of course ‘Heeling’! We were asked to promo Heelys one day and basically then had to incorporate Heelys shoes into our sets, sounds a lot easier than it is.
So we then kinda created a brand new dance style.
ANSD - Heelys Live - Alton Towers 2014
ML&L - Would you like to try another type of dance?
Amanda Nicole - We love trying different types of dance and would welcome trying anything new!
Most of us would like to try krumping in particular and we’d also like to work with more props.
ML&L - How do you feel when you perform?
Amanda Nicole - When we perform, we feel awesome! It’s our chance to show what we’ve been working so hard behind the scenes for,
and that in itself is a fantastic release of energy! Sometimes it’s a mix of nerves and excitement but other times it’s just pure joy to be out there and move and impress and excite our audience.
It can all depend on what type of event it is and what’s riding on the performance.
ML&L - What inspires you to keep on dancing?
Amanda Nicole - There’s so much that inspires us to keep dancing.
Sometimes, a certain song comes on and your brain just starts choreographing on its own! I think all performing artists will say the same, it’s just in your bones!
It’s who you are! We’re so grateful for, and jump at the chance, to create more great art and continually better ourselves. Seeing the faces in the audience, particularly children’s, inspires us immensely!
There’s nothing better than receiving a great response when you’ve worked so hard and the thought that you’re inspiring others is really satisfying and we take that responsibility seriously, too.
ML&L - What is your favorite part about Dancing?
Amanda Nicole - Favourite part? You’re making us CHOOSE? Well if we have to pick one part then it’s the
moment when you’re feeling the music, the audience is loving the performance, you know a big hitting part of your set is coming up, you’re full of
confidence and you go into the next section like BLAHM!! You nail it and the audience is like *wooooooaaaahhh*…
ANSD - Wallsend Festival 2014
ML&L - What has dance taught you?
Amanda Nicole - Dance has taught us so many things, firstly, never be afraid to try something new.
Don’t be afraid to be a beginner. After all, that’s where every great person started. From the bottom!
There’ll always be areas you can improve in and you’re never done. There’s always something new to learn. It’s also taught us to never underestimate anyone. Especially not yourself.
ML&L - Have you ever participated in a competition?
Amanda Nicole - We’ve taken part in many competitions over the years. They’re a great way to test out new routines and bed in new members. Most of the Crew teach kids in the
Dance School to dance so competition is a big part of our dance lives. They’re great fun too and a great way to test yourself.
ML&L - What/Who encourages you to dance?
Amanda Nicole - We’re encouraged to dance continuously, but it in the main, we are encouraged by each other.
Nobody can motivate a dancer like another dancer. Our manager Amanda is always inspiring us and keeping us on our toes, on top of goals and is awesome at rallying her troops, too!
ML&L - Where did you learn this kind of dance?
Amanda Nicole - We all learned our crews style of dance from the same place – The Amanda Nicole school of Dance aka ANSD (Our crew name)
ANSD Senior Crew - 1st Place @ Winter Gardens 2016
ML&L - What is your greatest weakness?
Amanda Nicole - Our greatest weakness is probably our acrobatic ability due to wearing Heelys, but we’re all working on that at the moment.
We only have 2 or 3 members who can flip about with the extra weight and wheels in our heels, so far.
ML&L - How many days and weeks do you practice this sport? For how long?
Amanda Nicole - We practice for 1-2 hours 3 times a week, every week.
ML&L - Do you have a favorite dancer? Who?
Amanda Nicole - We like a lot of dancers and crews that are out there at the moment and from the past.
Michael Jackson is definitely one of our favorites, and has been a big inspiration to many dancers, but you won’t see many of his moves in our sets (maybe the odd cheeky moonwalk!).
ML&L - Are there any challenges in this sport/dance?
Amanda Nicole - Being a dance crew that wear Heelys brings a lot of challenges! As mentioned there’s extra weight due to the build of the
footwear and the wheel that can throw you off on landings and dynamic steps. Certain moves that would be simple and easy, suddenly become a lot more complex.
ANSD - Heelys Live @ Alton Towers
ML&L - What can you advise to people who would like to learn this type of dance?
Amanda Nicole - Our first bit of advice would be to wear full protection! A helmet, elbow, knee and wrist pads are a must when starting out.
They don’t make butt pads though, be careful! Many a sore butt had in our studio! Even if you’ve danced before, to any level, you’ll find yourself back at the beginning in many ways.
Always get advice from professionals when starting out and practice, practice, practice! And you can get some help by watching tutorials on our Youtube channel.
ML&L - What do you think is the key to success?
Amanda Nicole - We don’t believe there is any ‘one’ key to success. Firstly, It’s up to you to define what success is to you. That’s why we think that success is living a life on your terms. It’s “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal”. You get to choose what that worthy ideal is. But if we had to pick one rule as a key, we’d say - whatever you choose in life to pursue, COMMIT to it. If you’re just interested, you’ll do what’s easy and convenient. If you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes. Make sure you have really good reasons for doing it too. That way you’ll be pulled toward fulfilling your goals instead of pushing towards them.
And always work hard, have a great work ethic, be on time, come with a smile and never give up! Sometimes you have to create your own luck!
ML&L - What music accompanies this dance?
Amanda Nicole - We generally use Hip Hop, R ‘n’ B and chart music, but we’ve been known to use classical
and cheesy pop for a comedy element. Some of us would love to use rock music, but we’d have our work cut out to convince the rest!
ML&L - What do you call the dance style that you do?
Amanda Nicole - There isn’t really a name for what we do. The easiest way to describe it is Street Dance in Heelys! However we call it Heeling.
ML&L - Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?
Amanda Nicole - We have some great musicians and singers in the crew (some horrible singers too!) and some pretty nifty cooks!
We’d be lucky to get good beans on toast from some, though! We’ve got some pretty good skate boarders, artists and we’re all pretty good on FIFA, if that counts?
May.Life & Live - So many talents in one place. Thank you one more time for enjoyable interview and we hope that our users will especially pleased to
learn more about dance that choreographer is not just a job but a life style. We wish you more motivation and the best of luck along your dance journey.