Strictly Come Dancing star Neil Jones has revealed an inclusive new dance to celebrate the creation of a new public and cultural space for Londoners in Wembley Park, London’s globally renowned entertainment district and 365-day neighbourhood. The professional choreographer and dancer, who is a four times World Latin Champion, created the dance move alongside close friends and talented dancers in their own right, Marlon “Swoosh” Wallen and Kieran Lai, whose styles are described as street dance/afro beats and illusionary respectively, to mark the completion of the Olympic Steps earlier this summer.
The 48 Olympic Steps, which function as the elegant entrance to Wembley Stadium, have also delivered an area of new public space, bigger than the pitch inside, that will be host to cultural and public events, as well as a new space for Londoners and visitors from across the globe to enjoy Wembley Park however they choose.
Neil Jones, most recognisable in his ballroom and Latin costumes in his role as a professional dancer in the BBC One dance series, Strictly Come Dancing, has transformed into a more laid-back look to perform the #OlympicStep dance routine – which cleverly features 48 steps in honour of the Olympic Steps themselves. The steps are named after the 1948 summer Olympic Games that were held in Wembley Park, where Jones himself lives and which once complete will be the UK’s largest single build-to-rent development, today the portfolio features over 3,000 rental homes operated by Quintain Living, across nine unique pet-friendly developments with lifestyle-led amenity spaces. In order to create an inclusive space digitally, to mirror that of the Olympic Steps physically, Jones purposefully choreographed the #OlympicStep to be made up of simple, catchy and fun moves that people could pick up, learn at home and get involved.
Neil Jones said: “As someone who lives in Wembley Park, I get how exciting this new space is. I’ve watched its progress from my balcony and couldn’t wait to be a part of celebrating a new space for people to come together, enjoy some music, kick a ball around, or just relax, right in the heart of Wembley Park. I wanted to be a part of celebrating that and I wanted to do it in a way that meant anyone can get involved.
That’s why Swoosh, Kieran and I created the #OlympicStep – a feel-good and easy way to celebrate the area’s legacy and champion the diversity that makes it so great.” The Olympic Step video shows Neil, Swoosh and Kieran being accompanied in their journey to Wembley Park with an original song written and performed by Jon Courtenay – a musician and comedian who won Series 14 of Britain’s Got Talent, and who received Ant & Dec’s ‘Golden Buzzer.’
Jon Courtenay said: “It has been such a pleasure working with Neil, Swoosh and Kieran on this. Performing at Wembley is every entertainer’s dream – so creating an original song that has been inspired by the area and celebrates moments in Wembley Park’s history, has been an absolute joy. The Olympic Steps are a fitting new entrance to the National Stadium and the dance is a lovely way to celebrate that and this area’s diversity and vibrancy.”
The Olympic Steps mark the final addition to Wembley Park developer Quintain’s major upgrade of Olympic Way, which has delivered 12,000 sqm, or around three acres, of new public space at the heart of Wembley Park. The Olympic Steps, along with the wider works to Olympic Way, form an integral part of the transformation of Wembley Park from a place once only suitable for event days into an exciting cultural district designed for a thriving local community. A vast, sheltered undercroft area below the Olympic Steps landing is bathed in natural light through 36 giant pavement lights and provides new space to host public events, such as covered markets and live performances.
From the community parades of Light Up The Night, to the winter lights festival Winterfest and celebrity performances of The Mayor of London’s International Busking Day, Olympic Way has played host to some of Wembley Park’s most exciting and inclusive free events.
Josh McNorton, Cultural Director at Wembley Park, said: “The #OlympicStep is a celebration of everything people love about Wembley Park: it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s a bit different, it champions the communities that make this neighbourhood great, and it recognises the amazing culture and sporting legacy of this destination. Working with the incredible creative talents of Neil, Swoosh, Kieran and Jon is a privilege and we hope everyone joins in to take part in the #OlympicStep at Wembley Park.”