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The show goes on for local hip hop dance school - Street Dance Sessions

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Despite the challenges Covid has thrown at the creative arts and events industry, the director of a local hip hop school has insisted the annual end of year show will go on.

Street Dance Sessions director Miriana Wetere-Ryder said her dancers had faced the disappointment of cancelled competitions, postponed performances and missed opportunities but she was determined to make sure they finished the year on stage.

"The end of year showcase is always a highlight, and our kids have missed out on a lot due to lockdowns so I really wanted to make sure they had something to look forward to," said Miss Wetere-Ryder

"They've worked hard all year, both in the studio and through online sessions and to perform for their whaanau and friends means their hard work can be celebrated."

Street Dance Sessions will perform 'Welcome to the Jungle', an original show created and choreographed by Miss Wetere-Ryder featuring dancers from as young as three years, on Sunday 5 December at 2pm and 5pm in the Concert Chamber at the Gallagher Performing Arts Academy in Hamilton.

The following Saturday (11 December) Miss Wetere-Ryder will showcase her 2021 competition dancers 'Street Squad' in the small theatre at Rototuna High School.

"The 'Welcome to the Jungle' showcase features all of the dancers who take classes with me during the week," said Miss Wetere-Ryder.

"These are the dancers who hung in there when classes had to move online and learning their showcase items had to be done through a screen."

Street Squad are the competing dancers from Street Dance Sessions and Miss Wetere-Ryder said while the year started out positively with the team competing locally and getting to travel to Tauranga and Wellington. But the arrival of Delta in August saw the competition schedule for the rest of the year cancelled.

"One by one each competition that we'd trained for was cancelled. But again, just like the dancers in my classes, I didn't want the work they'd put in not to be seen," said Miss Wetere-Ryder.

"So we'll celebrate them and their achievements from the start of the year with a special Street Squad showcase the following week."

Both showcases will follow the just announced orange traffic light restrictions, which come into effect this Friday. Ticket sales were initially limited and sold out in hours, but more can now be released.

"We have a waitlist for tickets, so we were crossing our fingers that this week restrictions will allow us to open up to more people," said Miss Wetere-Ryder.

"We're so excited that we can now do this, but for those who are still a bit nervous to get out and about, I've employed a local videographer to join us and film the show so we can share it afterwards."

Restrictions on tickets does mean that the ability to make revenue on the showcase is unlikely, but that's not Miss Wetere-Ryders' motivation anyway.

"I'm grateful for the support of Creative Waikato whose assistance has helped make this possible and my investment is all for our tamariki and making sure they continue to have opportunities to shine".

Tickets to 'Welcome to the Jungle' are available through the Gallagher Performing Arts Academy website. Tickets to the Street Squad showcase can also be found on the Street Dance Sessions facebook page.

Street Dance Sessions runs weekly hip hop classes for ages three years through to experience advanced dancers on Wednesdays at the Gallagher Performing Arts Academy and Fridays at Rototuna High School. Auditions for Street Squad competition teams are held annually. 2022 Street Squad auditions are being held Tuesday 7 December and registrations are via the Street Dance Sessions website.

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