It's hip to be home, says dancer

22:24, Aug 18 2014
James Tautuku
RIGHT MOVES: Hip-hop dancer James Tautuku, pictured here with students from Patea Area School, held two workshops in Taranaki yesterday and also performed in a fundraiser held on Saturday to help raise money to send a contingent from Star Dance Patea to Australia next year.

Giving back is something James Tautuku has always wanted to do since leaving Taranaki to pursue his own dreams.

And he was given a chance to do just that when he hosted a series of dance workshops across the region, including in Patea and New Plymouth yesterday.

"It's so nice to come back home and give back," he said.

Tautuku has been part of the Auckland-based Identity Dance Crew since 2012 and just returned from competing in the Hip Hop International World Dance Championships in Las Vegas, where the group won silver in the Megacrew division.

Born in Hawera, Tautuku started dancing at 9 years old and in 2009 he moved to Auckland and studied at the Excel School of Performing Arts where he graduated the following year.

He said it was great to see how other dance forms, like hip-hop, had developed in the time he had been away from Taranaki.

"That's so cool," he said.

Along with yesterday's workshops, including an afternoon session at New Plymouth's Rumpus Room, Tautuku was also part of a fundraiser held on Saturday to help raise money to send four dancers from Star Dance Patea, along with two instructors, to compete in Melbourne in March next year.

For Tautuku, the chance to come home not only meant he got to spend time with his parents and whanau, but he also got an opportunity to teach others some of his dance moves. "It's pretty much my dream job."


Taranaki Daily News