A real dream come true for young dancer
Matamata College student Keely Frearson is set to share the stage with the New Zealand Dance Company.
The 13 year old was one of 15 young dancers chosen to perform with the company in Tauranga as part of their Language of Living tour.
She was selected after attending the company’s Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP!) Summer School in January.
The four-day workshop was a challenge for Keely, who was introduced to two styles of dance completely new to her – fusion and contemporary.
‘‘It was a little bit nerve wracking because I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t sure what I was doing at first,’’ she said.
‘‘But at the end of it I was really excited and happy.’’
Keely has been dancing for about seven years and takes hip hop, jazz, ballet and acro at Aspire Arts Academy.
She is there every Monday to Thursday – about seven hours a week – and helps to teach one of the younger classes.
At home, she practices on a makeshift dancefloor of cardboard in the family shed.
‘‘I like that I can express myself without words,’’ she said. ‘‘I can be myself on the dance floor.’’ She hopes to be a professional dancer one day and dancing with the New Zealand Dance Company makes it seem possible.
‘‘ It makes me feel like I have been noticed,’’ she said.
‘‘They’re amazing. They’re really cool and really, really nice and kind and help you if you don’t get a dance move.’’
Tutors from the company have been coming to Tauranga once a month to practice with the YEP! dancers ahead of the show at the Baycourt Community & Arts Centre on May 21.
They have also been sending video instructions so they can prepare at home.
Keely will be part of Justin Haiu’s performance called Release Your Robot –a street inspired work about a robot who becomes human.
‘‘I’m excited, really excited and happy,’’ she said.
Years at Aspire had helped her to prepare for the opportunity and she would like to thank her teachers Tammy, Megan and Courtney.