Role a coup for teen
Dancing is a way of life for Tokoroa teen Daniel La’aiva, who at 15 already has a range of achievements under his belt.
The hip hop dancer has competed internationally at the World Supremacy Battleground in Sydney, the most prestigious international street dance competition in the Southern Hemisphere, as a member of Tauranga’s Urban Dance crew Hysteria in 2012.
Daniel, who lives with Asperger’s syndrome, was also one of the first passengers to perform on P&O Cruises as part of Forest View High School’s Polinetia Fa’atasi group.
But his latest coup is his selection as one of two lead dancers in the upcoming CreationFest being held in Rotorua from July 15 to 19.
CreationFest is an event that celebrates and fosters local talent and youth participation in the arts, featuring a live performance section, wearable arts and short film competition. The event builds on the previous Wearable Creationz competition that has been running since 2001.
Daniel’s mother Marnie La’aiva said she couldn’t be more proud of her son who has been grooving since he was 9.
‘‘Part of his gift has come from that [Asperger’s]. He wouldn’t have that focus, that’s part of his Asperger’s, too.’’
Dancing has given his social standing and confidence, she said.
He has come a long way from the toddler who need to sit inside the house wearing ear muffs when someone was mowing the lawn.
‘‘ He lives and breathes it. He’s still dancing in the truck as we’re coming home and if you saw him in the supermarket he would still be dancing.’’
Currently a student at Forest View in Tokoroa, Daniel participates in a number of dance schools with New Zealand’s top choreographers.
CreationFest comprises five dramatic, entertaining performances starting on July 15 at the Blue Baths in Rotorua, with tickets on sale now.