DANCE: Boy Blue Entertainment
KENDRICK ‘H2O’ Sandy says both him and his business partner Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante take their involvement in Breaking Convention very seriously as it not only represents a chance to showcase the talent they have nurtured but also an opportunity to learn.
The founders of Boy Blue Entertainment an award-winning hip-hop dance company, all roads lead to Sadlers Wells next week, where they will be amongst a multitude of companies and crews from around the world who have come to be a part of the UK’s festival of hip-hop dance theatre.
“We’ve been a part of Braking Convention since the beginning in 2004, except for one or two years we’ve done every year.” Kenrick told Life and Style.
He added: “Jonzi approached us many moons ago, he’d heard of us and wanted us to do a performance.
“So for me there was a level of high appreciation and an honour to be on that stage. For us in the calendar Breaking Convention is a serious thing. Every year I’m like, what are we going to do this time, how are we going to bring it.
“You also get the opportunity to learn. There are a lot of international companies and experienced artists that are coming. You see a lot of artistry in their work and sometimes you can come with this raw style when in actual fact we should be looking more at the aesthetics of how its put together.
“You do learn a lot and Breaking Convention has definitely helped as a platform for us because for me, I’m always looking to bring something regardless of the level of the platform. Breaking Convention forces us to do that.”
The moment Kenrick, 36, left his dream to become a sportsmen behind in college and seriously pursued a newly found passion for dance during his teens, he knew there was an avenue for him to pursue even if that path wasn’t clearly defined.
He got his first opportunity to teach dance when he was 19 but the years preceding were all about honing his talent. One moment in that part of his journey stands out more than most.
He recalled: “The opportunity to perform at Stratford Shopping centre came about and I auditioned for the solo part and got selected.
“They put a big stage in the middle of the shopping centre and for me back in the day that was peak. Before Westfield Shopping centre was there Stratford Shopping centre was the place to go to. So to do a performance in the middle of that was bait. Everyone was there.
“So I did it. It was the moment I knew that things were going to change. I did a forward somersault on stage and I had been practising this move at home on quilts and covers. I did it at home once, I’d been doing it and couldn’t land it.
FOUNDERS: Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and Kendrick ‘H20’ Sandy
“But when I was on stage, in that moment I told myself to do it, ride or die. When I did it and landed it, I swear the world changed. For me I knew after that there was no obstacle, the only obstacle was myself.”
Although Kenrick would be the first one to tell you he didn’t see himself teaching and mentoring young aspiring talent his love affair and obvious ability with the art form has meant he has been a magnet for those who harbour ambitions of scaling similar heights where hip-hop dance is concerned.
“When we created our youth groups it was because kids wanted to dance. There was a whole load o kids from the different schools I was teaching at asking the same question: when are we going to start a youth group.
“So we started it and from there we started getting them more into free-styling and understanding themselves and for the last seven years we have been really pushing our annual shows which gives the kids an opportunity to choreograph.
“With our late teens and early adults we are trying to push the as emerging artists. We recently gave them an opportunity to choreograph and perform some pieces in the foyer of the Barbican, which was really good work.
“The aim is not to make them strong followers, the aim is to make them strong leaders.”
With that in mind Kenrick says he would never advise any of his charges to follow the crowd onto shows like Britain’s Got Talent and he also sounds a warning for young impressionables coming up in an internet era.
“Now you have a lot of young people looking at Instagram, looking at Facebook and looking at what the next person is doing overseas and saying, ‘that’s what we have to do’, but no, it’s not that.
“Yes you should understand your hip-hop foundation and yes you should understand the history of it but once you have done that its about flying, it’s about creating new branches, new leaves for the tree and extending it, extend the nature of what we do.”
Boy Blue Entertainment perform on Sunday April 30 on the main stage at the Breaking Convention Festival and Tour taking place at Sadlers Wells Theatre
Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.