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Creative ID: 107

Art form(s): Dance, Theatre.

Based in: New Plymouth.

When I'm available: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday during school hours.

Where I'm available: New Plymouth.

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

Dance teacher specialising in preschool and primary-aged children. Experience in choreographing and delivering dance/drama performance pieces for school productions. Teaching large groups of kids and collaborating with schools and teachers. I deliver a variety of different styles of dance and performance to suit the needs and variances of the groups I work with.

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 am currently a dance teacher at a very successful dance school in New Plymouth. I have been teaching there since I was 16 years old after completing my examinations in ballet and jazz. I have left to study performing arts majoring in dance and drama in New Zealand, then spent time in Hong Kong teaching dance, musical theatre, and drama. I taught at a specialist dance school along with International schools providing workshops and performance pieces. Moving back to New Plymouth to have my third child saw me once again return to my “home” dance school. I have since been working a lot developing and delivering a preschool programme. I also work in a private preschool centre teaching as a contractor. I have a relationship with a number of local schools having provided my dance/drama expertise to help enhance their school productions or small workshops to bring dance to the curriculum. These public school interactions have so far been voluntary, motivated by my love of performance and dance and passing that on to children.

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

My experience working with children and young people spans from 2-year-olds to 40+ year-olds. I currently teach dance in a private preschool having developed my own programme to suit the needs of both boys and girls and differing learning/coordination abilities. I teach total beginners to competitive soloists and mums who want to get fit. I have experience working with different cultural groups having lived and worked in Hong Kong teaching creative arts, specialising in dance and drama. In New Zealand, I have relationships with different local schools, trusting me to teach their students in an uplifting and positive way. My voluntary work teaching dance for productions in local schools has given me a broad range of experience with different students' needs and abilities.

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

As I do a lot of this work already on a voluntary basis it would be great to be recognised for the hours I am investing into the schools and with funding provided I would be able to allocate more time to serving the school in creative arts. As dance and drama is such a specialist area, teachers can’t be expected to deliver content to the students at the high level I believe it should be taught at. So many talented students cannot teach their full potential in the arts because they are not provided with the platform of quality tuition for a number of different reasons. One is that private tuition in dance/drama schools is expensive and time consuming, and not a high priority for many families. These students are disadvantaged, if they are not taught good techniques early it will be very hard for them to catch up if they ever get the chance. I believe dance and drama is just as critical to growing a great mind as reading, maths, and art. The learning opportunities in engaging in these skills is endless, exposure to the arts in primary school shouldn’t be optional.

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