Passion for dance overcomes prejudice

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 09:59 01/10/2013
Dancers
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
Southland dancers, back row (from left), Bridgette Pink, 18, Katie Coutts, 17, Latisha Kerslake, 16, and (at front) Dawn Anderson, 16, and Ben Crossley-Pritchard, 16, gear up for the ILT National Young Performers Award.

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Ben Crossley-Pritchard says that as a teenage boy it is difficult being interested in dance, but he chooses to ignore taunts from peers and just enjoys the sport.

He is among six young Southlanders preparing their stage smiles after being selected to compete against the best in the country.

Dancers Bridgette Pink, Katie Coutts, Latisha Kerslake, Dawn Anderson and Crossley-Pritchard and oratist Victoria Boult have been selected to compete in the ILT National Young Performer Award in Invercargill on October 12 and 13.

They will battle it out against 130 other elite artists for prize money of $40,000.

Crossley-Pritchard, 16, said he spent about 12 hours a week practising his routines, motivated by his passion for the art form.

"It's just something I love - I want to make it a career."

Performing Arts Competitions Association executive officer Nikki Cunningham said this year would be the last chance for many Southlanders to experience the young talent New Zealand had to offer as the award show moves to the North Island next year.

"It's really good to have local nominees and hopefully the local public will come and support them . . . these are the best of the best," she said.

Tickets are available from the ICC booking office.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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