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Right dance moves

Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013

GEARING UP: Dancers at Auckland City School of the Arts will perform at Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park tomorrow night.

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Sandra Rasmussen is on stage every night with Lucy Lawless in Chicago and by day she has been busy preparing her dancers for Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park tomorrow night.

But that's not all.

This year she also opened a new dance school in Ellerslie and is in the middle of preparing the school's inaugural end-of-year show.

Fortunately the choreographer and former Christchurch resident seems to have no shortage of energy.

Enduring the Canterbury earthquakes was just the catalyst she needed to make the change she had been contemplating for years.

She moved north and in January set up Auckland City School of the Arts on Marua Rd.

So far it's been a good move.

"It's been so amazing to be up here.

"People are so grateful and receptive to the way I'm working with these kids.

"It was the right thing to do even though it's been hard in some ways."

She spent 30 years as artistic director of her own dance school in Christchurch but is enjoying the challenge of starting over from scratch.

"To be able to reinvent myself with a whole new bunch of young Aucklanders is an amazing opportunity."

She teaches most of the classes herself.

"One of my greatest joys is being able to see a spark that the child doesn't even necessarily know they've got and using all my expertise to evolve that talent and get kids to be the best that they can be."

Her senior dancers perform at the 20th Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park tomorrow before the whole school focuses on Monday's end-of-year show at Selwyn College called The Beginning of a Dream.

All 50 pupils will perform and the show will serve as a dress rehearsal for the 15 young people who have qualified for the Showcase National Dance Championship finals on the Gold Coast in January, she says.

Ms Rasmussen loves her role as the narrator in Auckland Theatre Company's adaptation of Chicago.

"Being on stage every night with these amazing performers like Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing is the icing on the cake because they are equally passionate people."

The Beginning of A Dream is at 7.30pm on December 16 at Selwyn Theatre, Kohimarama. Email mssandrarasmussen@ for tickets.

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- East And Bays Courier

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