Selwyn’s dance success

by Ann van Engelen

A team of five students representing Selwyn School of Dance travelled to the Evolution Dance competition on the Gold Coast in Australia and came away with accolades.

The team competed in three different contests including ballet, contemporary and lyrical dance. They placed first in ballet, second in contemporary and fourth in the lyrical section out of many dancers competing from across Australia and New Zealand.

“The girls got in the finals after coming second in the regional competition in May last year,” says Selwyn School of Dance director, Emma Body.

“They worked hard, and we are so proud of their achievements, and they were the only team from New Zealand. They attended workshops and trained with some leading dance professionals at the event. We have around 230 students and this year some of our dancers going overseas to places including Latvia and possibly Austria.  We try and give them as many opportunities as possible for experience.

The senior elite competition team Harriet Body, Mia Williams, Maya Hamilton,
Phillipa Johnston and Abby Prusas

“Dance is a great way to develop the creative side as you are using the left and right side of the body. It is a great way to keep young people off the streets, and it gives them a safe place to express themselves.

“One of the contemporary pieces the team did was about teenage depression and suicide awareness, so they weren’t just dancing, but it was an outlet for expression. Competing to me is about going on stage and getting performance experience. We try to be all-encompassing and help our students grow and learn through techniques and commitments which in turn means they grow in other areas.  

“Dance really is a team sport, and everyone has to work together. It was their first international competition and to come away with those results is a credit to them.”