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Creative ID: 089

Art form(s): Dance.

Based in: Mount Victoria, Wellington. 

When I'm available: I am currently available from Monday 13th April onwards.

Where I'm available: I am based in Wellington, but available for teaching nationwide. As the former Dance Educator for a ballet company, I was my full-time job to travel throughout Aotearoa to teach dance in primary and secondary schools. I have taught everyone from new entrants to NCEA Level 3 school leavers, teaching repertoire from classical ballet, original choreography, and delivering workshops that give students the skills to create their own dance pieces, as well as providing general dance and movement classes.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

I am a professional contemporary dancer, teacher, choreographer and artistic director of a multi-award winning dance company. I am the former Dance Educator for a ballet company, where I taught dance in schools throughout NZ to all ages and facilitated their community outreach programme, including touch tours for blind audiences. I've performed extensively in Aotearoa and overseas as a member of two dance companies. My choreographic works have been presented internationally. I am experienced delivering dance workshops for NCEA requirements, with a particular focus on choreographic practices, teaching repertoire, dance technique, and dance history. I am skilled at delivering classes linked to a variety of school curriculum subjects at primary and secondary levels, emphasising physical health alongside creativity and personal expression. My accolades include:

  • Tempo Dance Festival’s 'Best Emerging Artist' and 'Best Female Dancer' Awards
  • The Eileen May Norris Dance Trust Scholarship
  • Creative New Zealand's Tup Lang Choreographic Award
  • The Arts Foundation's Harriet Friedlander New York Residency

I have a BA in English Literature, am a Leadership Network member of the Asia NZ Foundation, and have a First Aid Level 2 qualification.

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

I have worked as a dance educator in schools across Aotearoa. My most extensive education work was conducted when I was the Dance Educator for a ballet company, when it was my full-time job to visit schools and deliver dance workshops. I have taught everyone from new entrants to NCEA Level 3 school leavers, teaching repertoire from classical ballet, original choreography, and delivering workshops that give students the skills to create their own dance pieces, as well as providing general dance and movement classes. Students need no prior dance training or experience! My classes are taught for everyone, and I have experience teaching dance to students of mixed ability. I am happy to align my teaching with other subjects in your curriculum, having previously creatively engaged students with topics from their other classes such as the life cycle of honey bees, financial literacy, international cultures, or water safety (to name a few!). My primary teaching credits include Dance Educator for a ballet company, teaching school dance workshops with a dance company, teaching workshops internationally for festivals in Malaysia and Croatia, teaching tertiary students at both the New Zealand School of Dance and Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

I am primarily known as a professional dancer and choreographer, of which I have built up a strong reputation in the New Zealand dance and performing arts industries, with a growing profile in Asia. My choreographic works have won awards, critical acclaim and had box office success. The next work from my company has been commissioned by the New Zealand Festival. I am skilled at facilitating and delivering creative processes for a variety of groups and contexts, and am flexible in my delivery methods in order to best serve the needs of a particular group. I have extensive experience teaching dance to children and young people in public and private schools, dance studios, and free to attend / open access community settings. I have taught dance to movers from 4–73 years of age (including a community dance project by 140+ amateur dancers on opening night of the 2016 New Zealand Festival). I have taught dance to a variety of themes and topics, also encompassing different dance styles and techniques. I can provide a theme for general dance workshops, or can incorporate themes from other learning areas (English, arts, health, languages, mathematics, science, social sciences, or technology).

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

Arts learning has been proven to support student engagement and academic success in other areas of study, and provides opportunity for kinaesthetic, visual-spatial, musical and interpersonal learners to thrive in the school environment. Creative expression is a right for all people from all backgrounds, and I consider that this new Creatives in Schools programme has the ability to spread access for arts experiences to students who may not otherwise have the opportunity or means to do so. Fundamentally, I believe that arts and culture are vital components of a healthy society, which makes providing opportunities for children to experience the arts essential for the holistic development and education of an individual. The performing arts enable personal expression, sparking of the imagination, enables critical thinking and problem solving skills, and encourages physical health and wellness. In my creative and teaching practice I hope to create safe environments for students to explore how their body moves, and how moving their bodies can create and share ideas, themes, emotions and meanings. My arts practice is about experiencing joy, discovering new things about yourself, the people and world around you, and the pure enjoyment of moving and dancing to music.

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