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