Inspiring dancer wins national titles at awards
Invercargill ballet, jazz and contemporary dancer Bella Robert is making making her mark on the national stage, being the first in Southland to win a prestigious award.
The 17-year-old attended two competitions during the weekend, and returned home with several national titles.
She won the contemporary section at the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance scholarship awards in Auckland, being awarded two trophies and a cash prize of $1000.
Bella was the first dancer from Southland to receive the award, after being nominated four times but being unable to attend.
However, her success did not stop there.
She also danced at the National Young Performer of the Year Awards as a soloist and troupe/ group competitor.
At the competition she qualified as a finalist in the troupe/ group section and a semi-finalist in the solo jazz and contemporary competition.
‘‘I was really overwhelmed to be amongst so many amazing competitors. It was such an achievement.’’
Bella has been dancing for 13 years, and has been trained by almost all of the modern dance coaches in the Otago and Southland regions.
When she was 4, her mum got her into dance because she was the tallest in her class and she wanted her to have good posture.
‘‘I loved it straight away,’’ Bella said.
At 15, she started to focus on her dancing more.
She now has dreams to be a commercial dancer, in music videos and working with wellknown musicians, and to one day own her own studio.
She already helps train up-andcoming dancers while finishing year 13 at Southland Girls’ High School.
Bella hoped her success would inspire the boys and girls she coached to go to the awards one day too.
‘‘It’s a huge learning experience.’’
La Muse studio director and dance teacher Gina Stevens said Bella was a captivating performer with a good technical base.
‘‘Bella’s got something very special as a performer.
‘‘She’s really inspiring for the kids [who she teaches]. They’re watching her dance and her success all the time.’’
Invercargill dancer Bella Robert after her wins at the National Young Performer of the Year Awards and 2017 NZAMD Scholarship Awards.