Dance show has mes­sage

Te Puke Times - - NEWS - By STU­ART WHITAKER

news@tepuke­times.co.nz

Te Puke In­ter­me­di­ate School’s dancers at next week’s Fresh Moves fes­ti­val will have a se­ri­ous take on the theme Be­cause.

“We had a brain­storm to­gether, about not only what could be in it, but also about what sort of things that were cur­rent is­sues to them,” says teacher Krys­tal Cooper.

“They came up with things like en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, bul­ly­ing, re­cy­cling — all sorts of things. But be­cause we are an It’s Not OK school, we de­cided to go down the It’s Not OK road.”

Krys­tal ad­mits do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is a deep theme: “We talked about the bul­ly­ing side of things when we did talk about the theme, and there were a lot who had been through that and fam­ily vi­o­lence as well, and we talked about how to in­ter­pret those things through dance moves and mu­sic.

“A lot of schools go for the fun-lov­ing stuff, but it’s quite a se­ri­ous theme. We to get a mes­sage across, but in a way that’s beau­ti­ful.”

Krys­tal says hav­ing stu­dents aged 12 and 13 who can openly talk about the is­sues and who also un­der­stand the lyrics of the mu­sic helped.

“You prob­a­bly wouldn’t go down that track if they were younger,” she says.

Danc­ing in front of others and work­ing and danc­ing to­gether tie in well with the school’s key com­pe­ten­cies.

“Par­tic­i­pat­ing, con­tribut­ing, manag­ing self — all those sorts of things we talk about in classes — are part of it, Plus they are giv­ing up their lunchtimes and a lot of their own time — they are re­ally pas­sion­ate kids.”

Pon­gakawa School pupils chose to base their dance around the idea “be­cause we be­lieve we can”.

The dance will take the au­di­ence through the let­ters of the school’s state­ment, which if the word “be­lieve”: B. Be the Best you can be and give ev­ery­thing a go. E. En­joy the jour­ney and have a pos­i­tive mind­set. L. show Love, aroha and kind­ness to others. I. In­for­ma­tion — we are ea­ger and ready to learn. E. En­vi­ron­men­tal foot­steps — we care about our en­vi­ron­ment just as we care about our­selves. V . Val­ues — we have clear and vis­i­ble goals. And for the fi­nale the team all come to­gether to show, E. Every­one to­gether — ty­ing up the dance as a group.

Teacher Jane McNeill says putting the school state­ment to dance was a mas­sive chal­lenge.

“We had to take some­thing that we live and breath ev­ery­day and in­ter­pret it into dance which was in­cred­i­bly tricky.

She says over time the dances im­proved with new ideas com­ing all the time.

“The com­mit­ment that these peo­ple have is in­sane. I first hand­edly know how much these peo­ple have trained and how hard they’ve worked. They’ve been giv­ing up at least 2-3 lunchtimes each week.”

The Te Puke In­ter­me­di­ate School stu­dents who will be head­ing to Fresh Moves next week.

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