Putting us on map

Waipa Post - - News - BY BETHANY ROLSTON

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.”

Photo / Sup­plied

Soloist Asia Hughes is one of 42 per­form­ers from Im­pe­ri­ous Dance Com­pany who will com­pete at the World Supremacy Bat­tle­grounds in Syd­ney this month.

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