Dancer expands his comfort zone
Late nights, hours of training and a cute pair of ballet tights are just a few of the obstacles Daniel La’aiva faced during his Creation Fest experience.
The Tokoroa-born dancer’s dedication was recognised when he was awarded the Youth Aptitude Award at the closing of the inaugural five-day festival held in Rotorua.
As well as a giant trophy, he took home $500 cash.
La’aiva was one of 11 dancers selected to participate in live performances for Creation Fest, and after 11⁄ gruelling months of
2 training and shows, was awarded the top honour.
The 15-year-old hip-hop dancer said he had to step right out of his comfort zone, dancing a jazz piece for the first time and choreographing a one minute duet.
‘‘When we first got there everyone could walk on their hands with their feet behind their back and then there was me walking on my two feet.’’
But it didn’t take long for the young star to step up come show time.
‘‘I had to wear ballerina tights and a wig with that too so it was very very unco-ordinated.’’
The youth hub volunteer said it was his father who inspired him to dance.
‘‘I remember out in the pool area he had cardboard on the ground and I would just copy him, Dad was a popper.’’
La’aiva, who specialises in isolations dance style, said the ultimate dream would be to become a member of one of New Zealand’s top dance crews, Identity.
New Zealand currently holds the world hip- hop title and La’aiva said despite its size, the small country provides good opportunities for aspiring professional dancers.
Daniel La’aiva wins recognition for doing the thing he loves most in life – dancing.