Beat­girls are branch­ing out

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS - By SOPHIE LEGGETT

The Beat­girls are syn­ony­mous in New Zealand with high- en­ergy, retro- in­spired shows, but not con­tent with merely per­form­ing, they have de­cided to branch out into teach­ing.

The group be­gan in 1996 as a Bea­tles trib­ute group, and quickly trans­formed into the brightly cos­tumed and be-wigged girl group we know to­day.

Lead singer An­drea San­ders said that al­though their main de­mo­graphic was women over 30, they no­ticed they had gained a fol­low­ing with chil­dren.

‘‘Over the years we’ve found that when we run fes­ti­vals, we get a lot of chil­dren who are re­ally in­ter­ested,’’ she said.

‘‘Some come and jump up on stage ... we love their en­ergy and enthusiasm.’’

The Beat­girls have de­cided to share their pas­sion for dance and mu­sic with Welling­ton chil­dren through a July school hol­i­day work­shop – a first for the group.

San­ders said the work­shop, for chil­dren aged 9 to 13, is for those at all dif­fer­ent lev­els of com­pe­tency.

‘‘You don’t have to be the best, you just have to have enthusiasm,’’ she said.

San­ders said her 11-year-old daugh­ter was part of her in­spi­ra­tion for the ven­ture.

‘‘I re­cently took her to a per­for­mance work­shop in Palmer­ston North, and the kids were amaz­ing – they were so ex­cited to be there.’’

The classes will fo­cus not only on singing and dancing, but will also in­clude dis­cus­sions about the per­for­mance in­dus­try, and gen­eral life skills the chil­dren can take away, such as con­fi­dence and pre­sen­ta­tion.

The chore­og­ra­phy ses­sions will be run by San­ders, along­side fel­low Beat­girl Caro­line McLaugh­lin.

Awhimai Fraser, who is also play­ing Sandy in the Welling­ton Mu­si­cal Theatre pro­duc­tion of vo­cal classes.

The work­shop will cul­mi­nate with a dance med­ley of songs from The Beat­girls’ reper­toire – com­plete with wigs and other ac­ces­sories – to which par­ents and friends will be in­vited.

San­ders said she hoped the work­shop would in­spire chil­dren to get in­volved with per­form­ing.

‘‘I’d like to get this to the stage where we could po­ten­tially get the Baby Beats to come along and do a num­ber [at our shows].

‘‘Who knows, if we’re still do­ing this in 10 years, they could come along and do it.’’


will be tak­ing the

San­ders said there had al­ready been a lot of in­ter­est in the work­shop, from chil­dren and moth­ers. ‘‘We’ve had lots of in­ter­est from our big­gest de­mo­graphic – women aged from 30 to 60.

‘‘I’ve had women ask­ing me, ‘Why are you not run­ning a work­shop for us’?’’.

In fact, The Beat­girls plan to in­tro­duce a class sim­i­lar to aer­o­bics, aptly named Beat­girls Ma­nia.

The work­shop costs $125 and will run from July 7 to July 11, from 10am till 1pm at the Tar­rant Dance Stu­dio, across from Iko Iko in Cuba Mall. For in­for­ma­tion, email the­beat­

Mu­si­cal Hol­i­day: The Beat­girls, from left, Caro­line McLaugh­lin, Kali Kopae and An­drea San­ders. They hope to in­spire po­ten­tial ‘‘Baby Beats’’ with Beat­camp, their school hol­i­day work­shop.

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