By MIKE CHAIKEN
There aren’t many young American teenagers that can say they danced on the streets of London to make a music video.
But that was just one of the experiences Bridget Stevens, a 13-year-old dance student at Miss Cindy’s Dance Center in Southington, had when she joined the Hollywood Summer Tour in the U.K. for Britain’s largest dance convention (Move It) and to take dance classes at two different studios.
The dancers from the Hollywood Summer Tour came from all over the United States to arrive in London from March 8 to 15 for this experience, said Bridget.
As part of the experience, Bridget was one of a handful of dancers chosen to perform in a music video for a British vocalist. They danced on the streets of the city, with Big Ben and Parliament behind them, and crowds would gather around them to watch.
The taping started early in the day as the dancers learned their choreography and kept going for hours.
The dancers, including Bridget, never complained, said her mother Rebecca.
“I liked it,” said Bridget. “I never got tired… It was fun. There never was a time where I couldn’t go full out.”
Bridget and her mom are now waiting to see what the final product looks like.
It didn’t really hit Bridget right away that she was flying to London to dance until the first layover for her flight. At that point, she said, “It got more exciting.”
Then, when she landed in Britain, “It was really exciting.”
When she arrived in London, Bridget already knew many of the dancers on the Hollywood Summer Tour since they had met the year before.
Bridget’s journey to London began a year or so earlier at a dance competition in New York state. From that experience, she received a scholarship to join the Hollywood Summer Tour in Los Angeles. It was in Los Angeles where she was given the opportunity to fly to London.
Many of the American faces were familiar, said Bridget. But many of the dancers in her classes were from the London area.
While in the U.K., said Bridget, “We did a lot of dance classes. We also had seminars for models, acting, getting yourself out there (in front of casting agents), and one about posting stuff on Instagram.”
The seminars were interesting, said Bridget, but the dance classes were her favorite part of the journey. The classes covered lyrical, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, musical theater, and commercial.
The classes did give her a chance to improve and to experience what it was like to learn choreography in a different country, said Bridget.
Besides learning dance, Bridget did get to show off her dance skills at the dance convention. They had an opportunity to “free style” before the attendees, either to the music they chose or had chosen for them. If you were selected, said Bridget, “You had to make up (the dance) on the spot.”
Bridget was picked for a freestyle style and gave it everything she had.
Rebecca said Bridget was “amazing.”
In addition to the classes and the convention, Bridget said she had an opportunity with other dancers on the Hollywood Summer Tour to play tourist. She said her favorite stops were the Tower of London (“It was really interesting”) and Big Ben (“It’s pretty and when you think of Big Ben, you think of London.”)
The trip to London—and the previous trip to Los Angeles, sparked her interestin the traveling life of a dancer, said Bridget. “I like to travel… I do like the traveling part of dance.”
And if all goes well, she said, she may get a chance to return to London now that’s she established herself with the Hollywood Summer Tour.