The Rangi Ruru Elite Dance Company has been named regional champions at the Showcase Dance Championships held at Villa Maria College last weekend.
More than 7,000 acts compete throughout Australia and New Zealand to qualify for a place in the coveted international finals in Brisbane in 2014, an honour now held by the Rangi Ruru dancers.
Competing for the first time, and the only Christchurch Secondary School in the Christchurch round, the 16 member Dance Company was named the winner in three categories – Senior Production Group for “Fosse”, Senior Broadway Jazz Group for “The Can Can” and Senior Contemporary Group for “Falling”.
Dance Teacher, Hannah Clarkson says the competition, which is in its 20th year, was a new challenge the girls were very keen to tackle.
“The world of competition dance is very different to that of curricular dance and it has been fascinating to see the two worlds combine. We are very proud of the girls who have been given a huge boost to their confidence, particularly as most of the other competitor’s last weekend were from private dance schools,” says Ms Clarkson.
In addition, four Rangi Ruru girls also received individual recognition. Devon Swift (Year 13) and Olivia Tallott (Year 13) were awarded high silver in the Senior Student Choreography Duo category. Ellie Crawford (Year 11) and Felicity Prendergast (Year 11) received second and third places respectively as well as high silver awards in the Senior Student Choreography Solo category.
“While the girls are thrilled to have qualified [to compete in Australia], 2014 is a big year for Rangi as we are presenting our senior production, Cats at around the same time which will be yet another new challenge for our performers,” says Hannah Clarkson. “It's very exciting to be able to offer such rewarding opportunities for our girls and experience the sharing of their success and talents with their families and the wider school community.”