Dancer skips into the per­fect job


Th­ese days it’s rare to walk out of study and into your dream job. But that’s ex­actly what Mapihi Kel­land did.

The 24-year-old dancer was one of more than 300 stu­dents who grad­u­ated from Whi­tireia on Thurs­day. Be­fore she had even fin­ished her fi­nal ex­ams, she had been of­fered a con­tract with New Zealand’s lead­ing con­tem­po­rary dance group, Black Grace.

She said she was amazed to get in be­cause her cul­tural dance back­ground did not match the group’s clas­si­cal con­tem­po­rary re­quire­ment.

‘‘I don’t quite fit the cri­te­ria there,’’ she said.

‘‘I couldn’t be­lieve it and I couldn’t be­lieve I was go­ing over­seas al­ready when I had just fin­ished my course.’’

In De­cem­ber she toured the United States with the Auck­land­based group.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing just seemed big­ger and way more grown up and pro­fes­sional over there.’’

The bach­e­lor of ap­plied arts stu­dent said she had al­ways wanted to be a dancer, and the last three years of study had given her op­por­tu­ni­ties to do so.

‘‘For me, the ideal would be to be recog­nised as a se­nior dancer, but also to have my own style and link cul­tural danc­ing with the con­tem­po­rary world as much as I can.’’

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