2019 marked the 10th anniversary of the BBC and Voluntary Arts collaboration ‘Up for Arts’. To celebrate, Up for Arts broadcaster Helen Jones took to the streets of Liverpool ONE during the annual LightNight event, with BeatLife percussion troupe belting out their drum beats and Samba Livre, Liverpool’s Brazilian samba dancers, leading a dance parade joined by dozens of young people and onlookers from one to seventy-one bobbing and shaking to the party.

“The event was great. The location was spot on - many people pass through so it was easy to get people involved. The band were really good and were really upbeat personalities! What I loved most was that lots of people got involved in the procession, surprisingly a lot of teenage girls. It was really freeing and lovely to watch them, for the time being, forget about whatever issues they might have and just enjoy themselves.”

- Wendy Okoli, Samba Livre

The troupe of over twenty percussionists and four dancers started at the Sugar House Steps, where a crowd of 70+ sat in the terraces below Liverpool ONE. As the drumming and dancing began, members of the public joined the parade which stopped on its loop for other onlookers.  Some were responding to the event invitation on the map or local broadcast to ‘come along and share your own preferred dance moves’ - others pulled away from their shopping by the spectacle. Managers of the space celebrated this change of pace:

“Dancing in The Street was the perfect partnership of community groups Beatlife and Samba Livre and the public who danced through the streets of Liverpool ONE to an infectious beat. The big finale at Sugar House Steps created a joyous celebratory atmosphere, promoting inclusiveness and self-expression through dance and music.”

- Liverpool ONE

Helen Jones, Up for Arts Broadcaster at BBC Radio Merseyside, who brought the groups together for a live broadcast from the parade summed it up:

"What a wonderful collaboration using the Liverpool One backdrop, Beatlife Drumming band & Sambre Livre dancers coming together to ‘Dance in the Street’ the offer from Up for Arts & for the Get Creative Festival 2019. On a perfect spring evening with music and movement enticing all those involved – a feel good factor event that showcased - what could be done together uniting all ages and abilities  - the smiles on faces just summed it up! Fantastic!”

- Helen Jones, BBC Radio Merseyside

Try it yourself or find out more:
SambaLivre offer regular classes in Liverpool
Learn some of the basic steps from home with instructional text, graphics and videos brought together on Dance (LoveToKnow.com)
Resources and tutorials for samba and other dance styles are available for free at: http://www.ballroomguide.com/resources.html

Try dancing to BeatLife’s rhythms and watch their performances on their website, where they share instructions to play some of the tunes.

Don’t have a surdo (bass drum), tamborim (small drum) chochalo (shaker), agogo bells or repinique (similar to a tom-tom drum)? - Instructables have some easy to make beaters and why not try different household objects, from boxes to pots and pans?

easy to make beaters, and why not try different household objects, from boxes to pots and pans?

Rhythms of Resistance also have DIY instructions for the advanced amateur! 

We'll be staying indoors for #GetCreativeAtHome this year - check out some creative inspiration or add your activity as part of the annual celebration.