Welcome to UK's #1 choice for all things rubber!

Shopping Cart

  • 0 Item
  • |
  • £0.00

Diversity: The Ultimate Dance Troupe

London-based Diversity became the first dance crew to win Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent TV show, back in 2009. The 10-member dance troupe beat vocalist Susan Boyle in the grand final, thanks to their dynamic and innovative moves.

The young and vibrant dancers were the surprise winners over 48-year-old Boyle, who had been the bookies' favourite to win the show, at odds of 10/11 on, back in May 2009.

For Diversity, who formed in 2007, it was the culmination of two years' hard work, leading to their reputation as the UK's top street dance crew, ten years down the line. They specialise in all types of street dance, including popping, contemporary hip hop dance, acrobatics and breakdance.

Diversity dance group

©JEP Live Music / Alamy Stock Photo

 

Origins

Diversity has always been a family affair, thanks to the dedication of founder members Ashley Banjo, 30, and his younger brother Jordan, 26. The crew members - who all hail from Essex and east London - were already the UK dance champions when they auditioned for Britain's Got Talent.

Ashley, the group's leader and choreographer, has always been interested in street dance, having started dancing himself when he was five. From the age of 14, he began to take it more seriously and started to teach himself routines.

He and Jordan formed the dance troupe in 2007, first calling themselves Swift Moves, but then changing their name to Diversity. Their mum, Danielle Banjo, manages the group, who are based at London's Danceworks studio.

The Banjo brothers are not the only siblings in Diversity - they are joined by another set of brothers, Sam and Mitchell Craske.

 

Britain's Got Talent

Diversity auditioned for Britain's Got Talent in London and received three "yes" votes from the judges, Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan. They progressed through the heats to the live semi-final, opening the show on 24th May 2009.

Diversity won the final of Britain's Got Talent 2009, thanks to their flawless and breath-taking routine. Cowell said he would have given them ten out of ten, had the judges been required to score them.

It was the public vote that saw the ultimate dance troupe from east London beat the bookmakers' favourite, Susan Boyle. A record audience of 17.3 million viewers saw Diversity win the show, becoming the first street dance troupe to triumph.

They went on to take part in Britain's Got Talent live UK show in June and July 2009 and became patrons of Dance Aid - a fundraising event in aid of the UK charity, Hope For Children.

 

Life after BGT

Diversity has enjoyed worldwide success, appearing on US chat shows such as Larry King Live and The Today Show. They have also performed in a Michael Jackson tribute show, alongside fellow BGT winner, dancer George Sampson. They were even invited to 10 Downing Street to dance for the Prime Minister!

The dancers train every day to keep up to speed with the complex and daring routines. They are also backing Change4Life (England's public health programme), which is aimed at spurring adults and children to live an active, healthier lifestyle.

In March 2012, Diversity signed a two-year exclusive deal with Sky 1 and Ashley became a judge on the network's hit show, Got To Dance. He also hosts his own show, Ashley Banjo Secret Street Crew, giving members of the public the chance to learn to dance.

The group's motto is, "Dream, believe, achieve," and they are a prime example of how following your dreams can come true with lots of hard work, self-belief and dedication.

 

Tours and television

Jordan Banjo stars in the BBC series, The Greatest Dancer, alongside Alesha Dixon. He also did a stint in the jungle in I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, in 2016.

Diversity has taken part in many national and international tours and the troupe members were also torchbearers for the London 2012 Olympics, running their leg of the journey on 22nd July.

They performed on the Royal Variety Performance in 2012. One year later, in the summer of 2013, Jordan Banjo and group member Perri Kiely hosted the TV show, Jordan and Perri's Ultimate Block Party, when they had two days to transform groups of young people into dance troupes.

Diversity returned to Britain's Got Talent as guest artists for a special performance on the grand final in 2017.

They have hosted dance classes at Butlins resorts, helping other young people on the road to a career in street dancing. Ashley Banjo has presented the BBC TV show, Can't Touch This, with Zoe Ball, while Diversity have made guest appearances on the cult Saturday night television show, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

In 2017, Diversity completed their seventh arena tour of the UK, called Genesis. Since November 2017, Ashley has been a judge on the TV show, Dancing on Ice, which is currently airing its second series on ITV.

We can't promise you'll dance like Diversity, but if you fancy your chances at becoming the next street dancing sensation, you’re gonna need Coruba's rubber safety mats to practice those moves!

Please contact us on +44(0)1702 560194 for further information on our wide range of products.



Recent Posts

What is Rubber Matting used for?

What is Rubber Matting used for?

Posted On: September 4, 2020

How do Anti-Fatigue Mats Work?

How do Anti-Fatigue Mats Work?

Posted On: August 6, 2020