Diversity interview: ‘We are trying to give more of that shock factor’

PUBLISHED: 15:36 14 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:56 20 May 2014

Members of the dance troupe Diversity

Members of the dance troupe Diversity

Archant

Perri Kiely and Jordan Banjo of dance troupe Diversity, speak to Richard Wyatt about pulling out all the stops for a re-imagining of their critically acclaimed show ‘Limitless’ at the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park.

On July 6, the boys will be performing alongside pop stars of present and past, including supergroup McBusted, which brings together members from McFly and Busted, and US sensation Backstreet Boys.

“When I was a kid, I grew up listening to McFly and Busted, and to be there performing alongside them should be really cool!” says Diversity’s youngest member Perri.

Jordan added: “We’d love to show them some of our moves!”

The group’s show Limitless – The Reboot is an update to last years arena tour, which promises more flips, more throws, and some very special guests.

“We’ve put a years worth of training in, which is hopefully something that shows through. We are trying to give more of that shock factor.

“A lot of people think we just come out and do a few routines, but we always have a proper full on storyline.”

Diversity found fame as the winners of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 with their innovative street dance routines that saw off singer Susan Boyle in the live final.

They all hail from east London and Essex, and still train at the Danceworks studio in Dagenham, which is run by the group’s manager Danielle, who is Jordan and Ashely’s mum.

“I have been dancing for as long as I can remember,” says Jordan.

“Some of the boys have been here since before I was born.

“Ash (Jordan’s older brother and Diversity’s leader and choreographer) was always the science guy. I wanted to be an accountant, but that’s not as cool as being a street dancer!

“We have our day off on the Sunday, use it to catch up with friends and family. We’ve all got girlfriends, apart from Perri, bless him, who are really understanding.

“The boys are my best friends so it’s great to be able to spend time with them.”

Perri, who joined Diversity in 2007 when he was just 12 years old, says that for him, dancing isn’t really work.

“I get up thinking ‘I’m going to chill today’, but I get so bored that I go back to the studio. I don’t think I could ever do anything else”.

Perri won the second series of TV’s celebrity diving competition Splash! back in February, but he says his street dance skills only got him so far.

“I flip for a living, and I thought I’d have more of an upper hand, but it’s so much more technical and can be a pretty painful experience.

“I’m near enough blind when I take off my glasses, and I had to learn to aim to land on my head!

Diversity will also be back for a third series of Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew on Sky1, which sees the boys take on groups of non-dancers such as policemen, teachers or refuse collectors and teach them to put of a full street dance routine.

The group may be sharing the stage with some of pop’s most legendary acts, but their dream collaboration is still yet to come.

Jordan says: “I suppose we’d all love to work with Beyonce; She’s an amazing dancer and singer, and is also pretty hot!”

The Limitless – The Reboot show will be touring across the UK in December.

Go to bst-hydepark.com for the full festival lineup and for ticket information.

diversityofficial.com/tour

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