Rock n Roll kids shine on national stage

Invercargill Rock n Roll Club dancers Connor Ross and Amber Granthan, both 15, and front, Chloe Hewitt, 17, and Briarlee ...
John Hawkins

Invercargill Rock n Roll Club dancers Connor Ross and Amber Granthan, both 15, and front, Chloe Hewitt, 17, and Briarlee Devery, 9, after returning from this years Rock n Roll nationals competition.

The Invercargill Rock n Roll Club is becoming the club to beat at dance competitions.

Club president Karl Herman said the club had increased in size in the past few years, to the point the hall was "chocca" with people at practises.

Having fun and supporting the team was the secret to the Invercargill Rock n Roll Club's growing success, and the people running the club made everyone happy, which kept interest growing, Herman said.

Invercargill Rock n Roll Club dancers Connor Ross and Amber Granthan, both 15, competed and placed second at this years ...
John Hawkins

Invercargill Rock n Roll Club dancers Connor Ross and Amber Granthan, both 15, competed and placed second at this years nationals Rock n Roll competition. The pair have been dancing together for 6 years.

The organisers and coaches had to have as much passion as the kids, Herman said.

In years past club members taking part in national competitions would look at other teams and think "we can't beat them", but now other teams said that about the Invercargill group, he said.

"The club has a great deal of talent that is bursting at the seams."

At this years national competition in Whanganui, held last weekend, the Invercargill club had the biggest group from any club in the country with about 80 juniors, parents and supporters.

It was "outstanding" because the club was also the most consistent to reach the finals in competitions and was deemed a club to beat every year, Herman said.

At the nationals the club entered 24 couples aged from 8 to 17 years, who bagged several placings at the competition.

They came home with five 1st places, eight 2nd places and nine 3rd places.

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It was a well-deserved but unexpected outcome, Herman said.

The dancers went to events not only to compete but to have fun and meet people and as a bonus, reach the podium, he said.

"The smiles on their faces said it all."

The club now has 210 dancers, about 90 of whom are juniors, but interest was growing all the time, Herman said.

"We have got a fantastic group of juniors, parents and supporters."

Herman made sure the group bonded as a team with practices together as well as workshops, camps, movie nights and bowling, he said.

 - Stuff

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