Dance show offers a little magic

18:47, Oct 30 2012
Stewart Dance
FOOTLOOSE: Stewart Dance Studios has produced some exceptional dancers including, clockwise from front: Brook Cope, 15, Emma Porter, 14, Jennika Charlton, 15, Duncan Armstrong, 18, Georgia Elson, 18, Chantal Tuala, 15, and Emma Morris, 14and Brook Cope, 15.

A local dance troupe is planning to put people to sleep to finance its next trip overseas.

Stewart Dance Studios in Takanini is teaming up with the Hilarious Hypnotist Dave Upfold to help get 23 dancers to Sydney for a workshop at the prestigious Brent Street Performing Arts School.

The dancers have been fundraising for the trip for two years and if they can sell all the show tickets they will raise $9000 - enough to reach their target.

While in Australia the dancers will take part in a week-long, nine-to-five workshop in ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre and singing.

Head teacher Kim Stewart says for many of the dancers the workshop in January will be a first taste of a future career.

That's the hope of 18-year-old Duncan Armstrong, a talented ballet, jazz and contemporary dancer who got hooked on performance at Papakura High School.


"By the sounds of it, I'm not going to get rich doing company work," he says.

"Then again, I'm going to be doing something that I love. As long as I've got enough money to support myself I don't mind how much I make.

"Long term I would love to be able to come back to New Zealand and establish my own company or at least produce my own works - that would be an absolute dream come true."

Duncan isn't the only one with high aspirations. Seven of the dancers travelling to Sydney have received nominations to the Modern Dance Nationals Scholarship Weekend in November, in recognition of achieving 97 per cent or higher in at least one dance exam.

Eighteen-year-old Georgia Elson was nominated for jazz, ballet and contemporary and was accepted last week into a contemporary dance degree at Unitec.

At Georgia's level of achievement, athleticism is a given but she's still expecting January's workshop to be a boot camp.

"It'll be really intense," she says. "You'll be sore, like, oh I can't move, then you go back and you work through the pain."

The Rosehill College student plans to dance professionally and to work for Touch Compass, a dance company which combines disabled and abled-bodied dancers.

Stewart Dance Studios' fundraising show with Dave Upfold will run on November 2 and 7 at 7pm, and November 3 at 6pm, at the Opaheke School Hall, Tasman Drive, Papakura.

Tickets are $20. Call Sonya Rose on 299 7997 or 021 316 125, or buy them from Papakura Paper Power, 223 Great South Rd, 298 5280. For information on Dave Upfold go to

Papakura Courier