Feeling jazzed

01:24, Jan 28 2014
Dance students
Jazz Time student from left, Jordan Skelt, 16, Nicola Risk, Bryan Cooper, 6, Anna Henderson, 14, and Tayla Shepherd, 16, were awarded some of the the top exam marks in New Zealand and Australasia.

@devlincolleSix Invercargill dance students have come out on top after scoring some of the highest exam results in Australasia.

The Jazz Time students danced their way to the top of the Asia Pacific Dance Association exams, outshining other New Zealand dance schools, as well as those in Australia and in Hong Kong.

Anna Henderson, 14, and Jordan Skelt, 16, were both awarded top marks by examining board Jazz Addict.

Only four out of the 17 top marked students were from New Zealand.

Bryan Cooper, 6, Harry Cournane, Nicola Risk and Tayla Shepherd were among 13 New Zealand students awarded high marks by examining board Urban Ignition for hip hop performances.

Australia and Hong Kong dance schools did not feature in this top marks and awards list.


The high achievers ranged from having more than 20 years dance experience to just two years of dancing.

Jazz Time owner and coach Lou Horo said during the past eight years, only three students had achieved top marks.

"And now to have six students in one year is just fantastic ... I am so proud."

Ms Horo became an examiner herself in January, last year, and believed this may have contributed to the success.

"Maybe now I have a better understanding and I see what is happening in other studios ... I probably expect a lot more from the students."

The students all said the awards did not come easy and took a lot of hard work and dedication.

They were in the studio most nights practising.

"Dancing is our life, we just love it," Jordan said.

Little Bryan was delighted with his award: "I like to fly through life dancing," he said.

Meanwhile, Tayla and Jordan have been chosen to preform at Hong Kong Disneyland in July after a successful video audition.

They will be dancing in the preparade along to Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.

The Southland Times