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Rosehill College

Region: Auckland

Art form: Dance

Project name: Hip Hop/Street Dance education for South Auckland students

Creative name: Alexandra Page

Project information: This project aims to support students’ achievement by developing their knowledge and skill in hip hop/street dance styles. More sophisticated understanding of the whakapapa of these styles will help to empower ākonga to use that background to inform their own engagement with the genre and utilise it for self-expression. The common approximation that many of our students feel to the culture, origin, and expression of these styles makes them the preferred aesthetic for them to learn and use in the creation of their own choreographies. For many of our students, their exposure to hip hop and street dance begins at a surface level, through viewing performances on social media and occasionally in their community. Without targeted and specific integration of the teaching regarding the purpose, origins, and significance of these styles, most of them remain unaware of the depths of the culture that they are taking influence from. In order for students to meet the Excellence criteria for assessment, they are required to demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the cultures from which they derive creative influence. 

Aorere and Rosehill will work together with our creative in the creation and teaching of units that are targeted specifically at our students in South Auckland, many of whom are at risk. The future vision is to connect with other schools that share similar demographics and are geographically close and share the resources and experiences that we develop throughout the year as pilot schools. We would look to have joint workshops that would combine our students at each level, so that it is possible to maximise each student’s contact time with our creative. It is our hope that through these experiences and connections, our young people will become more integrated into the wider hip hop and street dance community, locally, nationally, and internationally. 

The community-minded focus of this proposal is designed to support that social element of the origins of these styles and encourage learning in a more authentic context. We will focus these joint workshop day/s around the core teaching and learning for each assessment, and then continue rehearsals in our separate spaces with our creative. The opportunity for community performance, without competition, is minimal, and our endeavour is to have the culmination of the project be a collective performance evening where our community is able to come and watch the work created as part of this project.

Project starting: May 2022

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