Danc­ing all the way to Copen­hagen

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

Clare Bat­tersby has been help­ing kids spread their wings for decades, but now she needs help to fly.

Bat­tersby, or Fairy Clare as she is bet­ter known, has been teach­ing chil­dren to dance for 25 years and plans to rep­re­sent New Zealand at the Dance and the Child In­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence in Den­mark in July.

The West­mere chil­dren’s dance teacher is fundrais­ing to help make it to Copen­hagen, with a fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment event to be held at Ta­pac on March 28.

Bat­tersby was pre­sented with a New Zealan­der of the Year Lo­cal He­roes Award for her con­tri­bu­tion to chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion and the com­mu­nity in De­cem­ber last year.

She has come a long way from her days as an early child­hood teacher who was too ner­vous to en­ter a dance class.

‘‘I de­cided one day I was go­ing to check out a dance class. I went in and they were leap­ing through the air – I shut the door and ran off,’’ Bat­tersby says.

But she even­tu­ally made it into a dance stu­dio and has never looked back.

‘‘I’ve loved work­ing with chil­dren and I love the cre­ative as­pect of dance, so it all just made sense,’’ she says.

Many peo­ple will recog­nise her dressed in full fairy cos­tume as her al­ter-ego Fairy Clare.

The char­ac­ter arose through a re­search project she pre­sented at in­ter- na­tional con­fer­ences on ‘‘Dance in the Nat­u­ral En­vi­ron­ment’’.

Bat­tersby hopes this year’s con­fer­ence will al­low peo­ple to un­der­stand more about what it is that draws chil­dren to dance.

‘‘There’s al­ways a dif­fer­ent mo­ti­va­tion, so that presents chal­lenges. But I think that’s where I bring my ex­pe­ri­ence of tailor­ing classes to match the child, rather than a pre­scribed class that you ei­ther fit into or you don’t.’’

She will pass on the knowl­edge she gained at the con­fer­ence to the com­mu­nity when she re­turns.

The fundrais­ing event will be from 5pm to 7pm on March 28 at Ta­pac, 100 Mo­tions Rd, West­ern Springs.

It will fea­ture en­ter­tain­ment for the whole fam­ily, a si­lent auc­tion, drinks and snacks.

Go to ta­pac.org.nz/events for tick­ets.

Photo: JESS LEE

Rais­ing funds:

Clare Bat­tersby, or Fairy Clare as she is bet­ter known, is fundrais­ing to at­tend the Dance and the Child In­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence in Den­mark.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.