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Hip hop school wrap up a tough year onstage

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

For dance students, the annual showcase is the highlight of the year. Street Dance Sessions has had to weather the storm of covid lock downs and restrictions this year but were determined to go out on a high with their dancers hitting the stage.

Street Dance Sessions will perform a journey through the decades, a theme that will include all the ups and downs. Director Miriana Wetere-Ryder said while 2020 started with real promise, record class numbers, showcase and competition opportunities.

"Everything really changed in March once Covid hit and alert level 4 lock down too effect," said Ms Wetere-Ryder.

"All our plans had to be shelved and we had to head online to connect with our dancers."

Ms Wetere says hip hop dance especially is one of those things were you feed of each others energy so the challenge was connecting and engaging with dancers from as young as three years through to late teens.

"Like many local business owners I was worried that what we’d built over the last two years could slip away, but online was the only option," said Ms Wetere-Ryder.

"But when I started to receive thank you messages from parents saying it was giving them some time-out and helping keep the kids active then I knew we could keep going."

Street Dance Sessions headed back into the studio at alert level two, but with restrictions in place.

"Everyone was so happy to get back together, especially my competition crews as it’s not easy to practise formations when everyone is in different locations!"

While training times for competitive dancers and crews has been limited and many competitions cancelled, there have still been opportunities to put the training into practise.

"I guess one positive of the situation is that all the dance schools across New Zealand could not travel overseas so all the local and national competitions featured some amazing talent," said Ms Wetere-Ryder.

"We headed to Hastings to compete recently and were blown away to get to see the Royal Family Varsity crew perform - really inspiring for our kids - and we got to come away with two firsts, a second and two outstanding dancer awards".

Street Dance Sessions has been running in Hamilton East and Rototuna since 2018. Their end of year showcase ‘A journey through the decades’ will be held in the Concert Chamber at the Gallagher Performing Arts Academy on Sunday 13 December at 2pm and 5pm. Tickets can be purchased through the Gallagher Performing Arts Academy website.

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