Social Change through dancing: Shining a light on Impact Dance 

Social Change through dancing: Shining a light on Impact Dance 

Impact Dance is an award-winning art-for-social-change organisation that specialises in Hip-Hop Theatre, Street Dance and Youth Development. With a UK-wide reach and global footprint, Impact Dance is based in central London. Founded by Artistic Director Hakeem Onibudo in 1995, Impact Dance empowers young people aged 11-19 yrs through dance training, mentoring, national and international performances. The organisation’s work aims to address the inequality of opportunity to access and participate in dance, particularly by those facing long-term structural and systemic inequalities.

CEO and artistic Director Hakeem Onibudo: 

Hakeem is a significant key role model and founder of Impact Dance. He is a performer, mentor and professional host. His work has had a positive impact on those around him and he got an award for ‘CHANGEMAKERS’ by the Arts Council. He is very inspiring and it is through his work that continues to inspire young people to achieve their goals through the art of dancing. One goal of Hakeem’s work is to raise diversity in the arts sector and he is a passionate advocate for social change. The first studio class was in 1995 and has since impacted the lives of young people. There is a personal timeline journey of the studio’s success and how far it has come over time. 

Impact Dance’s journey is amazing and has helped young people perform globally on dance cultural exchange programmes. One of the quote’s on the studio is ‘Move. Grow and Be,’

Recently for International Women’s Day, some young people from Impact Dance had the chance to perform for BBC. It’s great seeing this dance community grow more and more through collaboration opportunities. 

In Impact Dance studio, there are some beautiful art pieces by @vintagedeboart

Events at Impact Dance: 

I had the opportunity to go to one of Impact Dance’s recent events on leadership led by Hakeem. Impact Dance regularly puts on different events linked to important skills that would be useful. As soon as the event started, I felt empowered by the panel and how they all lead on different areas of their careers. It made me reflect on my own pathway and how impact is something I am passionate about. Watch their reel of the event here: 

The panel discussion was interesting and the panel are all leaders in a range of sectors: Sukvinder Kathuria Head of Faculty at Ada, CEO of Techgirls (raising awareness and increasing women in the tech sector), Dr. Mano Shanmuganathan Neurosurgeon and also one of the contestant’s on Channel 4 Bear Grylls ‘Treasure Island,’ Jason Piper Associate Professor, choreographer and performer who helped out in Harry Potter’s ‘’Creatures Expert.’’ It was lovely hearing from all their different perspectives at Impact Dance and having a conversation on what our thoughts were on leadership. 

One topic I really enjoyed was the conversation on ‘’imposter syndrome’’ and how at times we may all feel this way but it is through your own values, mindset and experiences that will ultimately help. Another reflection point was how at times we become so focused on the end goal of what we want to achieve in our careers that we may forget the beauty in the journey and to appreciate where we are now, and how far we have come. 

Photo by Alicia Clarke

Careers Panel Reflections: 

The main thing is that everyone’s path is different and follow what you’re passionate about and genuinely enjoy. If you want to be a leader, know what kind of one you want to be and if you don’t feel leadership is a position you would go for that’s also fine too. The only person you should compare yourself to is you a year ago vs who you are today and where you want to be in the future. 

The next event… 

Impact Dance recently hosted their fundraising event on 23rd March. This was a fundraising event that was to aid the Impact Dance Academy Cultural Exchange. The evening followed live music and dance performances from the Impact Dance company. To support donations for 10 young people to go to Atlanta: donate here 

Ultimately, Impact Dance is a great organisation that builds on community, social change and impact. I love how dancing can positively help young people and make a difference in their lives. I can’t wait to see this organisation shine even more each year. Go check out the work they do and support future events coming up!

Article by Katie Bedrossian


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