Hop, skip and a Jump Jam
An Invercargill school is jumping for joy after qualifying for nationals in Jump Jam.
After Waihopai School’s success last year, winning the open category at regionals in Christchurch, this year the school has a team set for the national competition in Auckland this weekend.
Jump Jam is a fusion of dance and fitness disciplines, along with cultural interpretations that capture the look, attitude, posture and elements of aerobics and fitness.
Teacher Linda Compton said the group of 12 girls, in years 4 to 6, qualified as one of eight schools in the country to compete in the top section, the ’Advanced Open’.
The team, Bonisch Waihopai Magic, submitted a video entry with the hopes of being selected in either the novice, open or advanced open sections.
Students put in hours before school, in weekends and school holidays since term two.
The students’ routine, called Magik 2.0, was ‘‘well rehearsed and polished’’, Compton said.
Although they had no expectations of a win at the competition, they went at it with hopes.
‘‘It’s a tough competition but I’m really proud.’’
The team had a natural energy and excitement that was apparent in their routine, and they also learnt about teamwork, confidence, fitness and having fun, Compton said.
On Friday the team performed for local schools and members of their school community as practice.
‘‘We feel like the whole of Invercargill is getting behind us,’’ Compton said.
Jump Jam was growing nationally, but it was not as popular in Invercargill, so she hoped the Waihopai School team would encourage more schools to take part.
‘‘There are many children that are amazing.’’
Team captain Georgia Tuau Kuiti, who was also in the team last year, said she felt like the team had already won by being selected for nationals.
‘‘We’ve worked really hard but it was very worth it,’’ she said.
About 90 schools throughout the country will come together to compete at Westlake Boys High School in Auckland on Saturday.
Waihopai School is the only school from Southland, with their nearest competitors from Cromwell College.
Waihopai School’s Jump Jam team is heading for the nationals in Auckland.