The profile is published as part of our Nation’s Best Dance School Series, sponsored by MindLife. Free in Body, Free in Mind, Free In Life. The true measure of a school is the results they produce. The Nation’s Best Dance School Award is a new industry award for dance schools and choreographers in multiple genres of dance including
- Street dance
- and more
This award is not a popularity contest so there is no voting. It is an EARNED award where schools results are scored based on their success, the quality of the competition they face, and the number of dancers they make successful.
How long have you been dancing/choreographing?
I have been dancing since a young toddler and started with Ballet and Tap then went onto Jazz, Rock n Roll, Jive, Disco and Commercial, Dancehall, Cultural, Freestyle and finally focused on Hip Hop and Street Dance.
How many dancers do you work with?
I work with many different dancers of all ages and all abilities. It differs from class to class, project to project and, even more exciting, with different dancers all over the world.
How many dance crews/companies do you or choreograph for?
I choreograph on a freelance basis as a self employed contractor. The different crews and companies I work for, or could work with, are limitless. My current residencies include Auckland Council, North Shore Dance Centre, Studio 246 and Director at DreamCatchers WorldWide and House Dance NZ.
Are styles other than streetdance do you teach?
I have been trained in most styles and am confident with the foundations and teaching methods across a range of styles from Breaking to Street Dance, Commercial, Social Dances, Dancehall and more.
What inspires you, personally?
Directors, dancers, artists with unique natural ability who have studied and mastered their foundations but have their own flair and passions coming through their dance.
I wouldn’t necessarily use the word heroes, but people I admire or who inspire me cover different skills. I support and feel encouraged, particularly at this point in my career, by those who focus not only on their own personal goals but for those that also use that success to bring up the next generation or shine a light on communities that need that extra push.My “heroes” cover many people all over the world but would be my parents and for those that always look to the light when times seem difficult.
What special morning routines do you personally follow e.g. breakfast, workout, meditation, whatever?
Meditation in the morning is important in whatever dimension you choose. Whether its away from all technology and just focusing on your goal or breath and just bringing the right mindset and positivity into the day slowly.
What book(s) do you most frequently gift to other people?
I no longer purchase books as I prefer to try and save paper and so opt for downloading on iPad or Kindle. I like to encourage people to think of the bigger picture, social, cultural, political, spiritual issues and goals and texts that will inspire or at least make you question the status quo.
What would you say is the most important thing you do that makes you successful?
Do your research, take risks, don’t listen to negativity and NEVER GIVE UP.
What is your proudest moment?
Registering and starting DreamCatchers WorldWide as a Youth Arts Charity, establishing the House dance movement in New Zealand with HOUSE DANCE NZ and also setting up our international platform between NZ and the rest of the world with FOREIGN EXCHANGE NZ.
What is something that people don’t know about you that would surprise them?
I trained in the Military part time as an Officer and trained up to Level 2 and I also graduated in English Literature BA Hons and qualified as a TEFL teacher.
Who do you most want to collaborate with and why?
I’m transitioning into Hip Hop Theatre and want to use my theatre/literature training to showcase my passions at the highest level so am open to working with anyone with an open mindset and professional work ethic.
What is the lowest point you ever fell to as a choreographer/dancer or person and how did you overcome?
I have been privileged to not have experienced low points generally across my career however on arrival in NZ some dancers weren’t as hospitable as I would have hoped which reminded me not to listen to negativity and that in life other peoples social, cultural, educational and psychological insecurities are something that we can not compete with.Focus on your goals and use your talents for uplifting and positivity. That’s how I overcome anything challenging in life.
What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?
I want to create different dance and Hip Hop theatre pieces fusing my literature and dance training. Also I want to move into acting with more formal training as well as travel and learn, share and absorb as much as I can across ALL styles in dance to strengthen and expand my expression ability.I want to further my Mentorship and Youth Development and expand the services from which we already provide. Lastly cultural exchanges would be an exciting venture and to always keep learning and stay positive : )
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