In his most ambitious dance project to date, Ashley Banjo, with the help of Diversity, will hit the town of Stockton-on-Tees this summer, to persuade the people of this northern market town to join him in a street dance spectacular, which he hopes will bring the whole community together.
Michele Kurland, Head of Factual Entertainment, Sky Entertainment said: “I am thrilled to be working with Ashley again on such an ambitious project. Ashley is hugely talented and it’s his passion and commitment to street dance that we think will convince the whole of Stockton-On-Tees to dance in the streets”.
Stockton-on-Tees has a proud dance heritage. Through the war years and right up until the 1960s, the North East’s thriving market town boasted an impressive three dance halls, more than average for a town of its size. From the jitterbug and the jive to the shuffle and swing, each weekend the halls and clubs reverberated to the sound of music and laughter as the community danced its cares away. But in the 1970s the dance halls began to close, and it seemed that Stockton had forgotten how to dance.
Ashley Banjo commented: “I have always believed that street dance is for everyone, whether you are part of a crew or going solo. This is the biggest challenge I have ever taken on, let’s hope I can give Stockton-on-Tees their dancing spirit back.”
Now Ashley plans to change all that – he aims to create a dazzling street-dance spectacular that will reinvigorate the whole town, create a new community spirit and get thousands of people dancing in celebration. He’ll start by bringing together people who have similar jobs but who never meet. From shop assistants and market traders, teachers and librarians, to council staff and care workers, Ashley will unite the town’s workers by choreographing a series of individual street dance routines.
Then, for one day only, Stockton’s high street, the widest in Britain, will be transformed into the UK’s largest open air venue as Ashley and his workers bring the routines together. He’ll lead the whole town in an unforgettable, show-stopping street-dance finale.
Tim Whitwell Head of Programmes, Shine TV added: “This is going to be an inspirational and entertaining series, with Ashley creating an unprecedented street dance spectacle. There’ll be heart-warming stories, personal transformations and surprises aplenty, as well as some staggering choreography. It’ll be a unique TV event.”
Ashley Banjo: The Town That Danced will air on Sky 1 at a date yet to be announced.