January 27, 2015 / 0 Comments

Contemporary Dance Workshop with Joseph Toonga


Our Urban & Contemporary dance students took part in a Contemporary Dance workshop hosted by Artistic Director of “Just Dance Theatre” Joseph Toonga. Joseph began dancing professionally when he was invited to join East London Dance Youth Company at the age of 15 where he gained an exceptional set of contemporary dance skills before starting his very own company “Just Us Dance Theatre” in 2007 where his main role is that of a Choreographer.

The session mainly covered the learners being able to engage in contemporary dance in a fun and dynamic way through using Joseph’s unique style of fusing popping (contraction of the muscles) with the use of relaxation and flow that contemporary dance lends itself too. They were tested through various mediums via travelling sequences, elevation, use of breath and control, extension through the body and performance. We managed to grab some of Joseph’s top tips for aspiring dancers after the session which you can watch in the video above!

January 23, 2015 / 0 Comments

Meet The Team: Bwoy Wonder

What do you do at DV8?
What I’m told to do! (Support Tutor for Fashion & Styling level 2)
Why do you work at DV8?
I work at DV8 because I want to inspire young people so their potential can be realised.
What do you do outside of DV8?
I run a clothing company and make custom lego art pieces for clients and avid lego lovers.
Why should people come to DV8 to study?
DV8 has the best staff to learner relationship I’ve seen! Every tutor has strong connections with the industry they teach in.
Favourite moment from DV8?
The staff Xmas party!


January 20, 2015 / 0 Comments

Industry Lecture & Advice with Ben Anderson

Our learners attended an industry lecture at our campus with Social Media Consultant Ben Anderson, hosted by Fusion (Founder of Industry In The streets). During the session Ben spoke about strategies to engage people online using social sites to explore and share media. Ben emphasised how to gain brand exposure using sites such as twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and BlogSpot to maximise any business or company. Ben stressed the importance of having active followers as these are more important than thousands of inactive followers when promoting a business/company. We asked Ben for some of his top tips for those looking to break into a career in the social media industry:

1: “ The first thing I would say, is that social media is so young in terms of an industry that if you study and read up on it and put your learning into action it’s very easy right now to pursue a career as it’s a growing industry. Find some one who you can champion whether it’s yourself or someone else. Just start doing it, be very strategic with it and set it up as if you’re at college doing a project. If you’re doing a good job and finding your own way it’s quite easy to get into once you’ve proved yourself.”
2: “Be authentic. I think its important not to spam people and not to post things that you aren’t passionate about. There needs to be a personality and a voice and there needs to be something that identifies you in your post so, sit down and make sure everything you’re doing is real and authentic.”
 3: “Be consistent, a lot of the time I think a great example for this is Big Narstie. When he first started doing his “uncle pain” series not many people were watching but he didn’t get disheartened and so carried on doing it so that now people are waiting for the next episode. I think that once you have something where people expect something from you they will keep coming back and checking for it but you need to be consistent with it because the day they don’t get what they want is the day they will stop coming. I think that’s the same with a lot of web series when a lot of people start things up but don’t follow them through. Be consistent with it, don’t worry about who’s watching or listening but consistency is key.”

Fusion & Ben Anderson

January 20, 2015 / 0 Comments

Industry Lecture and Tutorial with Flava D


One of grimes biggest female producers known as “Flava D” visited our campus for an industry lecture with our Music Production students which proved to be an enriching experience and a great chance to gain further knowledge about work in the creative industries. Music Production tutor Rowntree kicked off the lecture with a Q&A session where students had the opportunity to ask Flava D questions surrounding the music industry including how she gained recognition for her music and how she managed to work alongside some of grimes finest artists such as Skepta, Wiley and JME.

Flava D is best known for her distinct bass lines which is what first catapulted her music into the Rave scene in Northern England when she was only 16. She regularly sent off bassline mixes to DJs in the hope that they would be played; which they did and went down very well with the urban music industry which is when she discovered her love for producing grime tracks. Once her grime productions grew, she used social network website Myspace to network with many other artists which is how she messaged Wiley asking for a collaboration. Once he heard what Flava D had to offer they began to work together and are still collaborating to this day.Once Flava D gained recognition from the music scene, she began to receive offers to DJ at events, she admittedly never performed as a DJ before but quickly familiarised herself with CDJs before being invited to perform a set for “Boileroom” which was her first gig. When playing at “Boileroom” she explained she still didn’t quite perfect the craft of DJ-ing but as she got more bookings, she used them as a great opportunity to brush up her skills and gain more practice, which she stresses, really helped her build confidence.

Part of the session included an intimate production tutorial where our learners had the chance to see how flava D produces her tracks; including how to create her unique hi-hat and basslines. She projected the screen of her personal laptop onto a projector so the students could see how she builds up a song, track by track as well as having a sneak peak at some future releases.

January 15, 2015 / 0 Comments

Tavaziva Dance Masterclass


Our level 3 Dance students were lucky to take part in a choreography and warm-up master class with Theo Samsworth from renowned dance company “Tavaziva”. Theo began his career training for his BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance at Trinity Laban where he had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Susan Sentler, Lee Anderson and Charlotte Derbyshire. On completion of his degree, he joined Tavaziva Male Dance as an apprentice before going on a national tour with the company. Level 3 Dance student Phi-Long is also part of Taviziva Dance Male which is an all male youth company for 14-19 year olds designed to encourage boys/young men to get into dance. He has been furthering his Contemporary style dance techniques for the past two years.

Theo began the workshop with an intense warm up which included some difficult variations of sit-ups and leg swings with strong, precise movements to prepare the muscles; highlighting the importance of warming up the body before dancing. Once warmed up, Theo began to direct a movement to our learners named “My Friend Robert” which was originally choreographed by Bawren Tavaziva, Creative Director and choreographer of Tavaziva Male depicting the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. The choreography features military inspired moves with short, sharp movements which proved to be a great opportunity for our students to learn about a new style of contemporary dance.

January 8, 2015 / 0 Comments

Music Video Shoot for Howson’s Groove


South-East London duo Howson’s Groove teamed up with dv8 to help film a music video for their latest release “Can’t Explain” taken from their EP with the same title. This was a fantastic opportunity for our learners to work alongside industry professionals and gain some valuable experience in the creative arts field. The “Can’t Explain EP”, which was released on December 29th, also features tracks “Chalk & Cheese”, “Picking you up” and the original mix of “Can’t Explain”. The EP boasts deep house/ funk synths and bass layered with a strong drum beat and majestic sounding vocals.

“This benefits our students in college by giving them a real industry experience working with professionals” – Alex Pinkerton, FTV Support Tutor

Castings were held the previous week when students met with both producers and band manager to discuss what roles they needed for extras in their music video and what the students would be portraying. The scene is compromised of two young female break-dancers battling it out to “Can’t Explain”, much to the excitement of onlookers (our dv8 students). The video was filmed after college hours outside reception at our campus directed by filmmaker and CEO of Black Tooth TV Rufus Pinkerton.

See the video for “Can’t Explain” here:


January 6, 2015 / 0 Comments

Fest42 Presents DV8 Winter Showcase


To round off a fantastic first term at our new campus our level three Events Management class (otherwise known as fest42) collaborated with various other classes and groups of students in college to put on an amazing show hosted at Walthamstow Assembly halls on December 18th in order to help raise awareness and donations for Make A Wish Foundation; a charity devoted to granting wishes to children and young people aged 3-17 fighting life-threatening conditions.

Preparation for the show began with Fest42 brainstorming ideas of what to include in the show as well as designing, printing, promoting and distributing tickets. Specific roles were assigned to students when organising the show (front of house, raffle, project managers) in order for the evening to run smoothly.  Students from our level 3 Digital Media course were also given different roles to film the entire show, which was also a great opportunity to put their multi-cam use skills to test! Guests slowly began filling the venue while students from our music technology classes laid down some upbeat tracks, mixed beautifully together creating a great atmosphere to get everyone in the mood for a fantastic show. On arrival, guests had the chance to purchase raffle tickets with prizes that included a gigantic bath bomb selection from lush, Versace perfume, Nandos giftcard and an oversized “DV8” cookie! Farzana from our Digital Media class displayed some beautiful hand made canvasses and home décor for sale to guests of the show as well as a cake stand with dozens of decorated cupcakes to help raise money for Make A Wish.

The show was opened with a talk about the evening from by Selay; one of the students who helped to organise the event from Events Management level 3 which was followed by a speech from Sacha Corcoran our principle at DV8 Academy. Sacha welcomed the audience to the show and took the opportunity to present students with end of term certificates. Once students collected their certificates the show began with a very moving and powerful interpretation of the Mark Duggan news story performed by our level 3 Drama students titled “Displaced”. Following suite was an expressive/contemporary dance performance also named “Displaced”; this time, interpreting the journey immigrants make leaving their home country to find a better life and a new home somewhere far different than they’re used to.

After the DJ interval, which showcased some immense mixing skills from students in our Music Technology classes it was time for the live performance half of the show from some of our level 2 and 3 music students. During the performance we heard a beautiful medley of Beyoncé and Jhene Aiko songs performed by Leah as well as some original tracks from our in-house rappers accompanied by our live band.

December 18, 2014 / 0 Comments

Uk Hip-hop Artist Jehst visits our campus


Renowned UK hip-hop artist Jehst (otherwise known as Will) visited our campus for an intimate Q&A session and industry lecture with our Music Performance students. He began his career by co-finding his own production company YNR (Young ‘n’ Restless) while releasing “Premonitions”- his debut EP in 1999. Musically, Jehst tackles issues and topics raised when growing up in London which is evident when listening to any of his tracks.

During the talk, Jehst covered important points regarding working in the music industry and within a label including branding and representation highlighting what to do and what to avoid when approaching a record label. He described breaking through the music industry as a leap of faith stressing not to allow rejection to knock you back and to continue approaching various different labels and to constantly network with others in the same industry. His visit ended with live performances from our students who displayed amazing talent from singing, piano playing and rapping to receive advice and tips on performing from Jehst himself including projection of voice and pronunciation of lyrics.



December 17, 2014 / 0 Comments

St John’s Ambulance provide first aid training

On Monday 15th St John’s Ambulance team visited our campus to provide potentially life saving training to our learners. This session is part of a project run by St John’s called “RISE” which aims to teach young people about the dangers of knife and gun crime and what steps they can carry out to potentially save the life of a victim. Emma led the session by  focusing on gun and knife related injuries, CPR, bleeds, dealing with an emergency and how to use the DRABC action plan:


Are you, the casualty or others in danger?



Is the casualty conscious?



Clearing the airway

Opening the airway



Look out for movement of chest rising and falling

Listen out for breathing noises



Feel the carotid pulse (in the neck)

If no pulse is present, carry out CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) 


 “St John Ambulance believes that everyone should have access to first aid and we are dedicated to equipping as many people as possible with the skills to be the difference between life and death.”


Learners were able to practice resuscitation techniques using a dummy, completing each step of the action plan clearly.