Dancer Jake body pops into top 10

Talented dancer Jake Stephens can claim himself as one of the top 10 best in the world after beating off international competition.
Talented dancer Jake Stephens can claim himself as one of the top 10 best in the world after beating off international competition.
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Talented dancer Jake Stephens can claim himself as one of the top 10 best in the world after beating off international competition.

Jake, 24, qualified for the finals of the recent World Street Dance Championships held in Glasgow and beat 991 people to come ninth in the competition.

He is already current XM Street Dance British Champion and former UK Street Dance champion, and is set to appear in and choreograph the new video for underground London music artist No Lay.

Jake, of Chapel St Leonards, joined dancers from countries including Germany, Russia, Spain and Italy to wow the judges in the solo category during the three-day competition at the Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre.

The full-time dance teacher and choreographer said: “I got into Street Dance when I was younger, starting off with dancing like Michael Jackson. I kept training and took part in local competitions. When I was 18 I won the UK Championships. This was the first time I had tried to qualify for the world championships so getting through has been a big accomplishment for me.”

He’s also travelled to Thailand where he has worked as a dance teacher and has been a competition judge himself.

For those who are not familiar with Street Dance Jake explains: “My style is very body ‘popping’ and ‘locking’ isolating Old Skool and Boogaloo, a ‘funk’ style. I dance to anything with a beat - music such as Usher and Chris Brown.

“The atmosphere at the finals was electric - everybody was there for the same reason whether they were dancing solo or as part of a crew.

“You don’t get to choose the music you dance to for the competition and that’s what it’s all about - knowing what moves to put to the music and which movements look 
best.

“Although I didn’t get further than ninth it’s still an accomplishment.”