Leaving a mark on the dance industry: UK Stand Up
‘You just have to keep working hard. Everything depends on how dedicated you are.’ This is how a humble young successful dancer, choreographer and artistic director is making a huge impact on the UK dance industry.
Kyle McKitty, 23, started dancing nine years ago in his hometown Manchester. ‘I started a bit randomly,’ Kyle said. ‘I saw a dance studio as I was walking down the street and I decided to go in.’ Although he won’t blow his own horn, he became a dance teacher himself, after having taken ballet lessons for just two years. Then he moved to London to study performing arts. Nowadays, apart from being a dance teacher at Paddington Arts, he is the cofounder of UK Stand Up, a platform for dancers and choreographers in the industry.
‘We are like an intermediate agency that merges dancers, choreographers, directors…and creates the best showcases.’ Since 2010 when UK Stand Up was formed, they have produced five shows presenting the best new, young, talented dancers. The showcase includes the best talent in the UK and different music styles from street, contemporary, and jazz. Their last show ‘Iconic Movements’ combined forces with famous artists from TV shows including X Factor and Got To Dance. Premiered last March at The Grand in Clapham Junction, it will be their first show on a tour outside London. In the coming months they will go to Manchester and Paris — both home cities of the two founders of UK Stand Up. ‘Our showcases have been well received in London, and we are now looking to expand and take them around the world.’
It can’t be doubted that one of the reasons for its success is Kyle’s passion about what he does. ‘The aspect of dancing that I enjoy the most is when I see the dancers giving it their all on the stage, and then an agent approaches them and a contact has been made. Then I feel I have done my job.”
Despite his success at a young age, Kyle knows how difficult it is for new dancers to have a start in the industry. ‘More and more, agencies don’t take in new dancers so nowadays, it is not very well marketed for young people.’ He thinks that although the British dance industry is solid, the L.A. industry works better. ‘Their market is different. There is more demand so they have to work quicker and harder.”
In UK Stand Up they want to make a difference in the way people relate to dancing. They are working on a new project to educate youngsters in schools. Starting from September onwards, this project will not only include dancing sessions but a series of seminars and a Q&A with professionals. ‘It is important to teach young people not only how to keep fit through dance, but also how to get a career in dancing.’
Seeing his experience and success, this project will for sure contribute to having a stronger dance industry in the UK.
To follow up his work and UK Stand Up projects visit their website