Dancers step out to raise funds

HEATHER SIMPSON
Last updated 09:43 09/06/2014
Civic Theatre fun dance
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ

LYRICAL INTERPRETATION: Sophie Overend was one of 80 dancers who performed at the Civic Theatre fun dance to raise funds for Blenheim dancer Hannah Roche to go to a prestigious American arts school

Civic Theatre fun dance
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ
HAPPY FEET: Blenheim dancer Hannah Roche performed a jazz routine to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at the Civic Theatre yesterday.

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A performance fundraiser has helped bring a Blenheim ballerina closer to realising her American dancing dream.

Marlburian dancers tapped, jigged and plied in front of an audience at the Floor Pride Marlborough Civic Theatre to raise funds to send Hannah Roche, 15, to a dance summer camp in Michigan.

Hannah has been accepted into the prestigious Interlochen Centre for the Arts for a three-week course in classical ballet but needs to raise $7000 for the trip.

She is closer to hitting American soil after the fun dance contest yesterday raised $850. Hannah needs to raise a further $2000 to hit her goal.

The school which specialises in music, creative writing, drama and ballet is known for its pool of talent. Famous graduates from the school include singer-songwriter Nora Jones and actress Felicity Huffman from Desperate Housewives.

Yesterday, 83 Marlburian dancers put their best foot forward. Solo, duo and group dancers aged from 4 to 18 stepped out in a range of dance genres including classical ballet, contemporary dance, jazz dance, lyrical, contemporary hip hop and highland dancing.

All participants received a medal, which Hannah has donated from her collection of competition medals won over the years.

Hannah hopes her American tuition will lead towards a dancing career.

"I am freaked out but excited. It is only 28 days until I got to America, not that I am counting. It is an incredible opportunity. The community have been so supportive, I feel like a real Marlburian."

Her mother Lynda Roche said it was her daughter's dream to become a professional ballet dancer.

"It is a little bit unreal that she is off to America. From a little age she showed so much talent. She has beautiful feet and comes alive on stage. She has made this happen herself through her dedication and determination."

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- The Marlborough Express

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