My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I am an artist practitioner/choreographer. I am a co-founder of a creative art entity. I am married with two children. I have worked in the performing arts sector across New Zealand and internationally for over 25 years, participating in national and international events. I have taught at various schools in the Wellington region. I was the creative director of ‘Omata’ who were the recipient of Creative New Zealand ‘Heritage Arts Award in 2010. In 2017 I created introduction classes to Tokelau dance. My artist endeavours include dance performance pieces.
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
Support letters and links to projects I have worked on are available on request.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I am very fortunate to have grown up in Petone with an incredibly supportive and loving family; especially with my tupuna who taught me about my Tokelauan culture and heritage, and the values of the Catholic faith. My father is Samoan, his expression of the culture was just as predominant and along with my mother, in tandem forged my self-identity. Their investment in me has made me confident in who I am, embracing my New Zealand-born identity with my Tokelauan/Samoan/Wallisian heritage. My love of dance and performance was encouraged and led me in pursuit of a career in Performing Arts. I'm a graduate of Whitireia Performing Arts New Zealand, which has taken me to many festivals overseas, performing and being an ambassador not only for New Zealand but more importantly for my kaiga (family). I have worked with many ECE’s, primary schools, intermediates, and colleges in the Wellington region over the last 20-plus years as a Pasifika Performing Arts Tutor. My background and upbringing plays a huge part in the way I interact with young people and the way I transmit Pasifika cultural. Themes I strongly promote in my teaching are self-awareness and strength in our Aotearoa-born identity.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme because I’m passionate about sharing my culture with others. For me, one of the greatest things as a teacher is to see the development, especially their confidence and enjoyment by the end. By utilising my formal education and personal experience, I believe in delivering quality learning material when I teach performing arts. It is important to me to keep connected with tupulaga(young people). It aids in keeping myself current and fresh in the challenges they face. As a parent of special needs children (autism, ADHD) I have learnt to be adaptable and innovative in my approach. For me those learnings are transferable in the way I teach performing arts. It gives the ability to cater for all learning styles. I am grateful for any opportunities and hope to be of assistance in the future.