Two students of the GEMS Wellington Academy - Silicon Oasis (WSO) bagged awards at the World Street Dance Championships and became the first UAE-based students to beat global dance competition.
Aston Mtada, 16, and Frank Tate, 9, put their school and the UAE on the world dance map when they competed against hundreds of young street and hip-hop dancers from all over the globe at the virtual championships.
Congratulations to Aston Mtada and Frank Tate from @GEMS_WSO for being the first #UAE-based students to win at the @UDOStreetDance championships! Aston won 1st place in the under-18s Solo Freestyle category while Frank won 3rd place in the under-10s Solo Freestyle category? pic.twitter.com/FREotmjB92— GEMS Education (@GEMS_ME) September 13, 2020
Mtada who grabbed first place in the under-18s Solo Freestyle category stunned the judges with his high-energy afro-beats/dancehall performance. While Tate won the third place in the under-10s Solo Freestyle category with hip-hop routine.
Both Mtada and Frank are performing arts students who impressed the panel of top judges, including Kenrick 'H20' Sandy MBE who collaborated with renowned director Danny Boyle on the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, and Christian 'Big Kris' Alozie, a founding member of UK dance troupe Flawless, who has worked with famous artists including Beyoncé, Rihanna and Kylie Minogue.
Mtada said, "I want to say thank you to my dance and performing arts teachers. I never saw myself as being good, but through their encouragement and always being there to help, motivate and teach me, I know now what I can achieve!"
Meanwhile Tate said his love for dance made him more confident when he performed for the judges.
UDO World Street Dance Championships is the world's largest international street dance organisation, and fastest-growing street, hip-hop and commercial dance brand globally.
Emma Tate, Dance Programme Manager and UDO Academy Coordinator, GEMS Wellington Academy - Silicon Oasis, said, "We may not have travelled to Blackpool, but we sure did show the world the outstanding talent we have, not only at WSO but also in the UAE. The UDO Academy Dubai has significantly enhanced all of our students' dance training over the last seven years in addition to the excellent performing arts curriculum at WSO."
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the four-day event which was held from August 25-30, 2020, was held virtually.
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