Final preparations underway as dancers gear up for ‘Battle of the Nations’

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Final preparations underway as dancers gear up for ‘Battle of the Nations’ thumbnailJason Barr returns as compere for the 'Ultimate Dance Kraze's' new show, 'Battle of the Nations', at The Den, Strabane, later this month.

STRABANE'S biggest charity fundraiser, the 'Ultimate Dance Kraze', is back on the local stage later this month.

Final preparations are underway as the ever-popular event prepares to make a welcome return to its 'home' at The Den (Melmount Centre) on Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26.

The show continues to be a huge hit since bursting onto the local events scene several years ago and it continues to get bigger and better! This year, the organisers have pulled out all the stops to ensure there is a little something for everyone.

Fresh from their recent shows at the Alley Theatre, the producers have come up with a a unique twist on the formula with a brand new 'Battle of the Nations' theme.

Jonny Gallagher, one of the organisers, explains what's in-store for audiences: "In previous shows, groups often competed in different categories of dance. For this upcoming show we have decided to change it around and instead each dance group will represent a particular country. They will showcase dance crazes made famous in that country as well as perform dance to famous DJs, bands etc from that country they are representing.

"For example when you think France you think of the Can Can dance, Spain the Macarena etc. It's going to be loads of fun and I'm sure the audience will be looking to get up and join in!

"We have six groups in total that represent each country and compete against each other. They will each perform and then the audience vote on their favourite. The top two groups will then compete in a dance off and the judges will have the casting vote on who will be crowned the champions.

"This year we are introducing something new too. For the first time we have two supergroups - each consisting of three of the groups. One supergroup will open the show and the second will open the second half. They will perform together some of the greatest dance crazes of all time such as Thriller, Grease, and Cha Cha Slide to name a few.

"We also have a new award where the judges decide on the best individual dancer of each night which is something we introduced in our recent show in the Alley Theatre."

Jonny added: "We are really excited to be back at The Den. The atmosphere during the live shows is electric.



"We have a team who come in and transform the stage and its just a wow factor when you enter. We do call it our home now and the staff really look after us and make us feel so welcome. We are so glad to be back and cant wait to put on this show!"

As ever there is a charitable aspect to the show with all monies raised going to Action Mental Health. To date, the show has raised over £20,000 for a number of charities.

"The charity chosen for this show is Action Mental Health - a charity that we supported in our last show in The Den. They have been really appreciative of our support and we have kept in touch ever since.

"Over the years we have raised over £20,000 for different charities. We have chosen this charity at the minute as we feel mental health is just as important as physical health, and its still a stigma that needs to be given focus," Jonny said.

A new promotional video has also just been released online ahead of the much-anticpated opening night. A number of guest acts are also being lined up to perform on both nights.

"This will include dancers that have never taken to our stage before showcasing the new wave of Irish jiving and line dancing. These dancers are the best in the country. We also have Irish dancers, the Urban Shock Dance Company from Derry and guest singers who featured on the X factor this year.

"We are also in talks at the minute with a martial arts company who may be providing us with our most dangerous act yet. There will also be comedy acts. We will also have a very talented opera singer and theatrical dancers performing whose story is very moving and will either have the audience in tears or on their feet," Jonny concluded.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at £10 per person. They are available at The Den on Monday or Tuesday nights between 6.30pm and 8pm or via any of the cast or dancer. A ticket hotline is also up and running on 07849386072.


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