When style is more important than coordination

Sonia Abdallaoui has danced her way from Paris to Brixton to the rhythm of street moves. Simone Richardson hears about some of the steps

Sonia Abdallaoui grew up near the Paris landmarks of Notre Dame cathedral and the Louvre museum, brought up by her mum Khauja from Oran in Algeria and her dad Khafilia who hails from the Saharan region of Algeria.

“I started dancing when I was really young,” she says. “When I was mixing with different gangs, my mum decided to pay for me to do proper street dance classes for me to stop mixing up with the street gangs.

“I started professional street dance classes with the pioneer of the macarena, Mia Frye.

“I love street dance because the style is more important than the coordination.”

Also a fan of classical and ballet dancing, Sonia has used it all to cope. In many different ways it has helped her progress to where she is today.

She danced through lockdown, practising in her living room and organising dance challenges for grime and reggae artists from all around the world.

“I also featured on Instagram doing a dance freestyle on a famous reggae artist Bounty Killer which I had 22,000 views.”

Sonia has worked with many other music artists and dancers.

Her lessons for children are every Saturday in Brixton. with others for adults throughout the week.

“I’m happy to have opened Brixton Dance School 10 years ago and teach ballet induction and street dance from four-year-olds to 15-year-olds.

“The kids are so talented in Brixton and the parents are so wonderful too.

“They always spoil me every Christmas with presents and cards.

“My dance classes are every Saturday and are only £2. I make them available for everyone in my community. They don’t have to book – they can just turn up.

“I’m also open every half term holiday.”

Dancers (l-r) Nina, Assiya Savane, Selena Hylton, Shanel Nakimera Wani, Erika Herrera

“I love Brixton and the mixture of ethnicity. I love Brixton market and Brixton Village.

“I love the Jamaican people – they are so nice and they love foreigners and they are the most talented dance people to me in the world!

“The food is amazing, and the fact that Bob Marley was here many times and also David Bowie and Vincent Van Gogh – it’s full of history.

“Brixton Academy – we have been there so many times to see many superstars perform.

“I also performed there twice in the past with my dance group called Ghetto Posh.

“I just love Brixton and I love the Lambeth Country Show. Every year Lambeth give me the chance to perform.

Take your children and teenagers along to enjoy at
Ferndale Community Sports Centre, Nursery Road, SW9 8BP

Sonia and pupils (l-r) Nina, Assiya Savane, Selena Hylton, Shanel Nakimera Wani, Erika Herrera