Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Omokoroa.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
My passion lies with contemporary dance and dance theatre and using the arts for the benefit of mental wellbeing. I have a BA majoring in Theatre and Media Studies in which I also took some practical filmmaking courses to develop my skills in making dance films. I am currently taking a chakra dance course which uses movement to heal and realign your energy and I am enrolled in a Dance Therapy workshop up in Auckland in November. My strengths lie in choreography, teaching, dance filmmaking and playwriting. I am also interested in the role technology now plays in the creative process. I think dance and theatre are intrinsically cathartic mediums and are hugely important in the development of creativity and innovation. As humans are also hardwired for connection, dance and theatre can also play an important role in community building and establishing a sense of belonging. The aim is not to be perfect as this actually hinders any real possibility of growth and destroys creativity but to be vulnerable enough to start to explore ideas through movement to better understand the world around us. I am a huge advocate of health benefits of free movement.
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 a BA in Theatre and Media Studies.
- I have an NZAMD solo performance diploma in contemporary dance and an ATCL performance diploma in speech and drama.
- I was a guest choreographer for Contrast Dance Company.
- I won the RAW division of Stage Challenge for a college with my concept, choreography, lighting design and costuming.
- I have just finished an internship at Java Dance, watching their choreographic processes and assisting with a season of 'Chocolate'.
- I have attended audition workshops at Disneyland and danced on stage at Disneyland and currently have a mentorship with the CEO and founder of a dance tour company focusing on personal development and achieving my career goals of using the Arts specifically for the benefit of people's mental wellbeing.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
- Contemporary dance teacher. Key tasks:
- choreographing contemporary dance pieces for 15–18 year olds for the 2019 end-of year show
- choreographing dances for modern competition pupils and working with them on their technique and form.
- Java Dance Theatre Company Production Assistant/Intern. Key tasks:
- running the box office and front of house for their show 'Chocolate' (checking tickets, door sales, interacting with audience members and setting up the foyer)
- watching rehearsals and learning about their choreographic process.
- October 2013 – August 2016 Causal dance teacher and guest choreographer. Key tasks:
- teaching children of 4–18 years examination work in BBO ballet and NZAMD contemporary
- choreographing dance numbers for open classes and show work.
- In 2017 and 2018 I volunteered my time to a college for a week to teach some choreography and contemporary dance technique to the Level 1 and 2 dance students.
- In 2018 I covered Spotlight Performing Arts' weekend theatre and dance classes down in Wellington, teaching theatre (theatre sports, script work) to 8–18 year olds and dance to 4–6 year olds.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I am looking at establishing a platform which uses the arts for community building and mental wellbeing and this programme would tie into this mission perfectly and would allow me to start developing suitable programmes to continue this creative practice. I love teaching, I love helping young New Zealanders realise their creative potential and so this is perfect for me. It will also fit in nicely with my extra circular teaching obligations. Using movement to tell stories about our culture and our community is so important, it helps everyone stay connected to what's happening in the world around us. It can give people a voice who may otherwise be afraid to speak up. It has the power for change. It has the power to heal. It has the power to inspire.