Steely dancers Flawless have a heart of gold

PUBLISHED: 12:48 26 October 2010




The dancer who’s firm resolve formed one of the UK’s best street dance acts says it took a leap of faith to realise his ambition

The fly group of dancers known as Flawless might be remembered for their sharp, slick street dancing, but a lot more runs behind their shades and chiselled faces.

Judging the Britain’s Got Talent finalists by a conversation with their leader, choreographer and dancer Marlon ‘Swoosh’ Wallen, a delicate passion for music and movement powers the steely resolve of these stage-athletes.

The relaxed 26-year-old, who is due to perform with Flawless at the Churchill Theatre Bromley next Thursday, revealed that his North London friends were heavily influenced by their exposure to a broad range of arts at college.

“I’m a self-taught dancer and so are most of us,” he said. “Going to City and Islington College and taking that step to learning all these other styles, my first attitude was so negative. I was very narrow-minded. I was so into street dance and I didn’t see why I should learn about contemporary dance.

“Fortunately I was guided by good teachers and I learned how they all relate to each other. Once we started learning we started respecting all art forms and how connected they all are and it’s made us better dancers, and better people to be honest.

“Now it’s our way of life.”

If you were beginning to suspect that Wallen was a soft touch, think again.

The group formed under the leadership of Wallen not via audition or television ploy, but by a gambit to ditch their jobs and spend a year rehearsing day in, day out to become, literally, flawless.

“When we started, a little before 2005, dancing like this wasn’t in fashion,” he said. “Most of us met through City and Islington College, though some of us were school friends.

“We had so many people who were talented in football, singing, basketball – there were so many careers that could have taken place. We just all had dance in common.

“It was because I pushed, and because the others had the passion, that it came together.”

Some of Marlon’s friends were more enthused by the idea of taking their hobby more seriously than others. Hardly surprising, being students holding down part-time jobs. ‘Swoosh’ was an assistant at JC Sports.

“We had to give them up to rehearse every day,” he said. “It was all or nothing once we got to a certain stage in our abilities.

“With family and friends around us asking if we were making the right move from that point, it wasn’t an easy decision, but it had to be made.”

The dancers were fortunate enough to have supportive families that let them live at home as they perfected their street dancing art.

The group have gone on to great things since their appearance on Britain’s Got Talent a year ago.

Along with their current Chase the Dream tour that started at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the boys were lucky enough to appear in this year’s cinematic release of Street Dance 3D.

Their release into the living rooms of the nation have left the boys getting recognised in the street and clubs, but fame has not all been a blessing.

“There’s never time to spare for training. It’s quite different now – before we had all the time in the world.

“Trying to grasp new ideas is now much harder, but we now have a rhythm to work to. Even if we’re dancing in the dressing rooms before we perform now we mess around and try new things. It’s a laugh backstage – the guys are very down to Earth – we don’t take things too seriously, except for the dancing.”

● Flawless are due to perform at the Churchill Theatre Bromley on November 4 at 4.30pm and 7.30pm. For tickets priced £19.50, call the box office on 0844 8717 620.

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