I’m excited to introduce to you a new segment to the blog titled “Event of the month”. Each month we’re going to write about a cultural event that we find cool and inspiring, and we think you will, too. The first ever event of the month is Beatrix Dance League 5, organized by Beatrix Crew.
Who are Beatrix Crew?
Beatrix Crew is a dance studio from my home town, Skopje. They have various styles of performance. From street, hip hop and breakdancing, to reggae and house, they keep the dance culture in Macedonia alive. And for that, we are very grateful. They help many people to achieve their dreams of being dancers through guidance, character building, and practice. Beatrix Crew is not only a dance studio but a community of dancers who devote themselves to a better future, for them and the people around them.
What is Beatrix Dance League?
Consequently, Beatrix Crew established the only international dance camp in Macedonia, Beatrix Dance League. This dance camp is one crazy experience. Each year they organize more than 25 workshops with the goal to create unique opportunities for intermediate and advanced dancers. Besides the workshops, participants have the chance to work on a showcase with choreographers, to battle and win prizes, and finally, the chance to win sponsorship of 500 EUR for a dance camp of their choice. Crazy games and fun ways to chill are no exception, as the event lasts 10 days.
This year is a bit different from the rest as Beatrix Dance League is celebrating its fifth anniversary. Beatrix Dance League 5 will take place from 8-17 June at the Youth Cultural Center in Skopje. We reached out to Ivana Balabanova, the owner and one of the dance instructors at Beatrix Crew, to see how the preparations are going and what we can expect from this year’s event.
Interview with Ivana Balabanova
Beatrix Dance League is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, congratulations! How has the event changed over the years? What was the first Beatrix Dance League like?
Beatrix Dance League is our baby. Slowly but surely we are rising it with much love and joy. Of course, as every beginning is tough, compared to our first edition, there are many things that have changed in terms of quality and program. It all started with our teachers that wanted to share their knowledge with our community, and today we have teachers coming from England, USA, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Greece, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Serbia, etc. Also, we have expanded the number of workshops and events in order to create a more unique and valuable experience.
We heard you say this year’s event is going to be the biggest one yet. What can we expect? Who are we going to see?
So, as our 5th jubilee, we have created the biggest program so far. We have around 50 workshops from our teachers from Beatrix Crew as well as our friends Skywalkers crew from Bulgaria, Pance Dimov (Macedonia), Ana Stanisic (Serbia), Milena Maneva (Serbia/Macedonia), Kenzo Alvares (The Netherlands), Dylan Mayoral (England), Jaja Vankova (Ukraine/USA), Kevin Paradox (The Netherlands) & Edwin Batalla (Germany/ Jamaica). We have created 5 programs (Kidsterz Program, Community Program, Educational Program, International Program, and Showcase Program).
Besides the dancing workshops, we have added specialized workshops through the educational program which will be held by actors, psychologists, designers, and our video production, all of which will present other aspects that are very close to dance. Last, but not least, we have the events such as: a huge audiovisual, inclusive performance from Ivana Balabanova and music by Darija Andovska, performance created through the workshops by Adrijana Dancevska (Skopje Dance Theater), Beat-Making Battle (an interesting concept where dancers and beat-makers compete in duos), All Styles Battle with live band performing and Showcase and performing night.
Event planning is a great responsibility. Each year you dedicate yourselves to creating amazing events. What do you think makes a good event?
I always believe that whatever that is made with love and joy is always a success story. Love and persistence are the key factors for a successful event. Especially when it comes to dancing because it always comes from the heart. Also, a great team is essential for keeping things smooth. The hardest part maybe is the coordination and delegation of responsibilities. And of course, the concept for everything is very important, because it has to follow the image that you want to create for the event. Thereby, every event should be consistent with the story and to add to it.
You spend a lot of your time with Beatrix Crew, with attending events, and organizing events of your own as a cultural center. What, or who, motivates you to keep dancing, teaching, and organizing events?
A very good question. I always re-ask myself the same thing, because of course there are times of digression and crisis. But I always get back to one thing that keeps me going – the kids and the possibility to create something for the community that is going to evolve and help young dancers in their progress. When I first started dancing, there were no workshops, no camps, nothing. It was only us and some videos from TV shows or music videos. We learned by watching TV. Then the Internet happened so we learned by watching videos. Then camps, and workshops and etc. After the first Beatrix Dance League and after I saw the energy and the progress of the kids, I just knew it that it was the right thing to do.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions! We have one last one. What are your long-term goals for Beatrix Crew and Beatrix Dance League? Where do you see yourselves five years from now?
Hopefully, one day Beatrix Dance League will be the biggest dance festival in Europe. Our intentions are to keep shaping the platform in a way that will expand in terms of opportunities for all the dancers and teachers. We would like to focus on quality workshops but also quality performances from all the great names in the dancing industry.
Make sure to check out Beatrix Crew (@b3x.crew) and Beatrix Dance League (@beatrixdanceleague) on social media to stay up to date with their projects, events, and everything they do in-between.
P.S. We’re gonna cover events happening in Macedonia, Europe, and all of the world, really. So if you have any awesome events that you’d like us to know about, let us know in the comments below or hit us up on social media.