Danc­ing their way to US com­pe­ti­tion

Central Leader - - NEWS - By LAT­IFA DAUD

Young Auck­lan­ders are gear­ing up to take on the Amer­i­can dance scene in July.

Auck­land City School of the Arts (ACSA) stu­dents aged be­tween 9 and 18 will be the first Aus­tralasians to com­pete in Show­stop­pers, a pres­ti­gious Amer­i­can dance com­pe­ti­tion.

Owner of the Eller­slie stu­dio San­dra Ras­mussen says the 22 stu­dents have worked hard for the op­por­tu­nity.

‘‘They are ridicu­lously ex­cited. They have count­down clocks on their phones and are work­ing and re­hears­ing re­ally hard be­cause it’s such a big deal com­pet­ing ar­guably against the best in Amer­ica.’’

Com­pe­ti­tion alumni in­clude Bey­once and Brit­ney Spears.

The ACSA dancers will leave for Los An­ge­les on July 3 to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the city’s dance scene be­fore com­pet­ing in the West Coast fi­nals from July 15 to 19.

They hope to be­come some of the first dancers in the world to take classes at the new Abby Lee Dance Com­pany stu­dios in Santa Mon­ica.

They will also take classes at the var­i­ous Los An­ge­les stu­dios. One stu­dio in­cludes The Edge Per­form­ing Arts cen­tre, home to some of the world’s top chore­og­ra­phers. Ras­mussen says this is an op­por­tu­nity for the stu­dents to pick up some life skills.

‘‘It’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to have this in­cred­i­ble goal and be able to do all the things young peo­ple need to do to achieve this goal, [which is] time man­age­ment, re­hearsal sched­ules and man­ag­ing their so­cial lives.’’

Ras­mussen has 100 stu­dents.

Photo: EVE SOREN­SON

Dancer Brooke Moody of Auck­land City School of the Arts.

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