Col­lege danc­ing with the staff a hit

Te Awamutu Courier - - News - BY BETHANY ROLSON

Danc­ing with the Stars? More like Danc­ing with the Staff.

A new com­pe­ti­tion at Te Awa­mutu Col­lege is just like the pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion se­ries, ex­cept stu­dents pair up with staff to put on an en­ter­tain­ing and un­pre­dictable per­for­mance.

The teams bat­tle it out on the dance floor in front of the school each week to prove who has the best moves.

Danc­ing with the Staff was ini­ti­ated by Te Awa­mutu Col­lege Year 12 stu­dent Ry­lan Richard­son. The arts lover and drama stu­dent de­cided the school needed more cre­ative arts ac­tiv­i­ties.

“I was watch­ing Danc­ing with the Stars and I thought — what if we did Danc­ing with the Staff? My at­ti­tude is ‘make what you want to hap­pen, hap­pen’,” he says. So Ry­lan got to work.

The 17 year old pitched the idea to prin­ci­pal Tony Mem­bery who gave it the go-ahead.

The next task was ask­ing teach­ers and stu­dents to sign up to the chal­lenge.

Ry­lan says it took a bit of con­vinc­ing to get staff onto the stage — but the re­sult was worth it.

The com­pe­ti­tion has been run­ning through­out the term and be­gan with 11 teams, which have steadily been elim­i­nated by judges.

Through­out the week the stu­dent teaches the staff mem­ber the new dance.

They squeeze prac­tices into lunchtime breaks or study pe­ri­ods.

Each week has a dif­fer­ent theme in­clud­ing hip-hop, 80s, Broad­way, Ki­wiana and Top 40 hits.

The dancers have sourced cos­tumes from lo­cal stores, op shops, the­atre com­pa­nies, the school’s cos­tume depart­ment and bor­rowed from fam­ily and friends.

The last-stand­ing two teams — teacher Bernard Oliver and stu­dent Jamiee Gie­len, and teacher Tay­lor Hunter and stu­dent Danielle Mor­ton — will com­pete in the fi­nals to­mor­row, with the theme ‘dancers’ choice’.

Ry­lan says the weekly com­pe­ti­tion is a hit.

“The whole hall fills up with stu­dents and staff eager to watch the per­for­mance.”

Prin­ci­pal Tony Mem­bery sup­ports the event and would wel­come it back next year.

“It brings an­other level of hu­man­ity to our staff,” he says.

“It lets teach­ers show stu­dents that they can get up on stage, not take them­selves too se­ri­ously, make mis­takes and have some fun.”

Photo / Bethany Rol­ston

Teacher Lau­rel Ma­son and Year 11 stu­dent MJ Neeth­ling in the semi-fi­nal, which they were elim­i­nated in.

Photo / Bethany Rol­ston

Teacher Bernard Oliver and Year 12 stu­dent Jamiee Gie­len in the semi-fi­nal last week. Their per­for­mance earned them a spot in to­mor­row’s fi­nal.

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