Dancers pre­pare for Los An­ge­les


Five Wanaka dancers will hit the Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard and Dis­ney World Stage in July, be­fore one of the troupe takes to the wa­ter at the World O’Pen Bic Sail­ing Cham­pi­onships in Italy.

Dance Out Loud mem­bers Thea Erich­sen, 14, Sonya Palmer, 16, Ella Maluschnig, 17, Laura Erich­sen, 16, and Maya Erich­sen, 12, have teamed up with the Dean McKer­ras School of Dance in Palmer­ston North to visit Los An­ge­les.

Par­ents Rachel Erich­sen and Liz Maluschnig will ac­com­pany the girls on the two week tour, which should start with a ‘‘team bond­ing ex­er­cise’’ at the de­par­ture gate of Auck­land Air­port on July 8.

Dance teacher Rachel Erich­sen said her dance school had been af­fil­i­ated with Dean McKer­ras for two years and her five charges felt priv­i­leged to be in­vited to join his troupe of 40 dancers.

‘‘We spend two weeks at­tend­ing classes at the pres­ti­gious Edge, IDA and Mil­lie­nium Dance Stu­dios [in­clud­ing] dance sem­i­nars by pro­fes­sional dancers and pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. They per­form a set dance on Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard and on the Dis­ney stage at Dis­ney­land. This is a huge op­por­tu­nity for our dancers,’’ Rachel Erich­sen said.

They have been us­ing videos to learn the chore­og­ra­phy for their 22 minute piece at Dis­ney­land.

The girls have been danc­ing to­gether since they were preschool­ers.

Thea said she was par­tic­u­larly look­ing for­ward to vis­it­ing stu­dios and would be seek­ing ad­vice on where to take her dance and the­atre per­for­mance ca­reer.

Sonya said the travel ap­pealed to her as much as the danc­ing, as she had never been over­seas be­fore.

Laura was look­ing for­ward to see­ing Los An­ge­les from a dancer’s per­spec­tive and meet­ing new peo­ple.

Ella was ex­cited to be vis­it­ing top stu­dios she had only seen on­line.

Maya was just look­ing for­ward to ‘‘ev­ery­thing’’.

The Erich­sen fam­ily will also visit Broad­way in New York and then fol­low Laura to Lake Garda in Italy, where the promis­ing ju­nior sailor will com­pete at the World O’Pen Bic Cham­pi­onships, un­der coach Sir Russell Coutts.

Dance Out Loud stu­dio, Spencer House Mall, Dun­more Street, Wanaka, July 2, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm.

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