SC tap dancers to com­pete in Aussie


Two young South Can­ter­bury dancers have been re­hears­ing for hours nearly ev­ery day since Oc­to­ber ahead of tough com­pe­ti­tions in Aus­tralia.

Tap dancers Ne­vaeh Butcher,7, and Mya Bax­ter,9, will com­pete with 4500 other dancers at the Aus­tralian Show­case National Finals on the Gold Coast over the next two weeks.

While the Hay­ley Butcher Dance Studio pupils were al­lowed a ‘‘lit­tle bit of a rest’’ over the Christ­mas pe­riod, tu­tor Hay­ley Butcher said the pair have been re­hears­ing with her in­tensely since Oc­to­ber, and have been putting in ad­di­tional hours of prac­tise at home on their own.

‘‘It’s been full on ... ev­ery day we’re down here, ev­ery sin­gle day,’’ Butcher said.

‘‘They’ve put the ef­fort in, lots of ef­fort.

Pleas­ant Point Pri­mary School pupil Mya said she has been learn­ing tap dance for four years. She will com­pete in four events at the di­a­mond level of the junior age range, and said she was both ‘‘ex­cited and ner­vous’’ about the event.

Te­muka Pri­mary School Pupil Ne­vaeh has been learn­ing tap dance for three years, and will com­pete in six events at the elite level of the pe­tite age range.

Butcher said the elite sec­tion would be a ‘‘tough group’’ to com­pete in, but the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence for both of the girls will be ‘‘amaz­ing’’.

Butcher said seven of her dancers qual­i­fied for the finals after hav­ing been as­sessed by Aus­tralian judges in Ran­giora in Oc­to­ber. How­ever, the high cost of book­ing tick­ets to Aus­tralia within the short time frame pre­vented five of them from at­tend­ing.

‘‘The cost is huge, like mas­sive.’’

Lo­cal busi­nesses Te­muka New World and Te­muka Trans­port had do­nated funds to­wards their trip, she said.

It was the sec­ond time Butcher had taken stu­dents to the com­pe­ti­tion in the 10 years she had been teach­ing dance.

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