Role a coup for teen

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

Daniel La’aiva

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