Putting us on map
After three months of intense fundraising and training, Imperious Dance Company is jet-setting to Australia, and then to the Netherlands, to compete on the international stage.
Forty-two dancers and their supporters will fly from Auckland to Sydney on Thursday morning.
Two soloists, one trio and five dance crews — Country Kidz, Spoken, Resilient, Mega Crew and Rustic — will compete at the World Supremacy Battlegrounds, a prestigious international street dance competition.
The young dancers are from all around the Waikato, including Te Awamutu and Cambridge.
Rustic will continue on and compete in the 2018 Hip Hop Unite World Championships in Leiden, near Amsterdam.
Rustic is one of 12 New Zealand dance groups to qualify for the Netherlands competition, and the only group selected from the Waikato.
Imperious Dance Company manager Tulona Vincent says the dancers have been training nonstop in preparation for the competitions.
It will be the first time the dance company has competed outside of Australasia.
“It’s exciting to see Te Awamutu being put on the map,” Tulona says.
“People will ask where we are from, and we’ll be proud to tell them we’re from Te Awamutu.
“Competing internationally gives the dancers exposure to the world of dance. It lets them see different dancers’ styles and expands their ability.
“They come back to New Zealand hungry to try new things — it really keeps them going.”
Qualifying to compete in both competitions was the first achievement, followed by the task of fundraising for flights, food and accommodation.
The dance company has been fundraising since July, managing to raise $62,000 to subsidise dancers’ flights, accommodation and food.
Tulona says the hard work of fundraising has taught the children important life lessons.
“The dancers all understand that if you really want something, you have to work hard for it.”
She thanked the businesses and individuals for generous sponsorship.
“It really would not be possible to take this many children overseas without the support from our awesome community.”
Soloist Asia Hughes is one of 42 performers from Imperious Dance Company who will compete at the World Supremacy Battlegrounds in Sydney this month.