Dancer leaps into ac­tion to raise funds

Marlborough Midweek - - Front Page -

By SVEN HERSEL­MAN Blen­heim bal­le­rina Han­nah Roche has come up with a novel way of rais­ing money to at­tend a US arts school sum­mer camp, by host­ing a dance con­test and giv­ing away many of her old medals.

The fif­teen-year-old Marl­bor­ough Girls’ Col­lege stu­dent has been in­vited to at­tend the three­week-long sum­mer camp at In­ter­lochen Cen­tre for the Arts in Michi­gan, US. To at­tend she needs around $7000 and is or­gan­is­ing a dance con­test, along with her mum Lynda, this weekend.

The idea is that the event will not be as com­pet­i­tive as reg­u­lar dance con­tests, and Han­nah will be giv­ing medals that she has won over the years to each dancer that takes part. ‘‘Some people are put off by very com­pet­i­tive con­tests, so this is ideal for chil­dren who haven’t had much ex­pe­ri­ence or haven’t en­tered a con­test be­fore and can get ex­pe­ri­ence dancing on stage in front of judges,’’ Lynda says.

All dance styles, from bal­let to con­tem­po­rary, can be en­tered and dancers can per­form as so­los, duos, trios or larger groups. Judges will in­clude Marl­bor­ough dance teach­ers and se­nior dance stu­dents.

‘‘The [Floor Pride Civic] Theatre have of­fered us the use of the venue for free, which is amaz­ing of them,’’ Lynda says.

Han­nah will also per­form three times on the day. She be­gan dancing at the age of just four and soon got into bal­let and High­land dancing at the Marl­bor­ough Dance Cen­tre in Blen­heim. While she has found suc­cess in both styles she has de­cided to fo­cus on bal­let.

‘‘There are more op­por­tu­ni­ties to be­come a pro­fes­sional bal­let dancer, which is what I want to do,’’ Han­nah says. She was also selected for the Royal Ed­in­burgh Mil­i­tary Tat­too, which is be­ing held at the same time as the sum­mer camp but de­cided not to go.

The $7000 she needs to at­tend the camp may be a lofty goal but Han­nah is al­ready well on her way hav­ing saved ev­ery cent she has ever won for dancing.

She is ex­cited to be at­tend­ing the sum­mer camp, an op­por­tu­nity that came up by pure chance. ‘‘ We know a guy who at­tended the Over the sea: Marl­bor­ough dancer Han­nah Roche, 15, is work­ing hard to raise the money needed to go to the In­ter­lochen Cen­ter for the Arts sum­mer camp in the US. Photo: SMILECLICK.CO.NZ camp, whose grand­par­ents live next door to my grand­par­ents. A teacher from In­ter­lochen was stay­ing with them so my gran showed her a tape of me dancing and she asked to see me, and in­vited me to the camp,’’ Han­nah says.

The camp will mean that she will miss two weeks of school so she is busy work­ing hard to do the work be­fore she goes on July 7. Fresh look: Pic­ton So­ci­ety of Model En­gi­neers sec­re­tary Rus­sell Mathews at the model sail­ing boat pond, which is due to be up­graded.

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