Our Story

Waikanae Dance school was founded in 2008 with an open day at Kapanui School. Attended by around 100 adults and children we started with four classes on Saturday mornings. In the early days most of our classes incorporated more than one dance style. Today we offer combined classes as well as classes in individual dance styles. This is because we believe that young people exposed to a wider variety of styles develop a better understanding of performing arts. The professional world has also changed over the years and dancers must now be able to have a much wider repertoire than they did historically including singing and acting. It is also why in 2012 we started Theatreworks which introduces students to drama and singing.

We presented our first school show in 2009 at Waikanae Memorial Hall which had 35 performers in it. In 2013 our school had grown big enough to have a pre-schoolers show and school aged children show. The school now teaches over 150 children every week.

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We work closely with the community having provided dance teaching at Waikanae Free Kindergarten and to Kapiti Vaulting Club senior performance team in their preparations for international competitions. In 2013 we started working with the intellectually disabled young adults in our community with a once a fortnight class in Paraparaumu.

In 2009 we moved to our first small studio. This is fitted with a floating floor, wall barre and mirrors. Nestled in amongst the trees and with room for parents to enjoy our wonderful natural environment whilst waiting for their children it is a setting we are proud to share with others.

Each year we provide opportunities to perform locally and nationally as well as the usual exam and medal test sessions which are very rewarding.

Until July 2012 the school was run a part time venture but realising she was getting no younger Michelle gave up her "proper job" to do what she had always dreamed of - having a performing arts school.

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In the same month we held our first Theatreworks holiday programme which introduced students to drama and singing and the intense pressure of putting on a performance in a short space of time. At the end of the first week the children asked if we would run the holiday programme again next holiday. Of course we were thrilled they had had such fun and so we continued.

Starting Theatreworks allowed Graham's acting and singing skills to be incorporated into our programme and shared with the children.  The children love to act up when he is around and particularly loved the school sketch in our first holiday programme where he was the teacher and they naughty children and were allowed to throw things at him - a child's dream!

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Over the years our timetable has expanded and we now have over 30 classes including pre-school classes during the week, after school classes, weekend classes, adult daytime and evening classes and drama classes. 

Acrobatics is our unique style which is only offered in a few dance schools around New Zealand. It is teaches flexibility, strength and agility.  A wonderfully challenging dance style for those with previous interest in gymnastics or cheerleading.

We also offer classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz ,Lyrical, Hip Hop and Contemporary. Classes can also be made available in performing arts, national, greek, musical theatre and choreograhy. We also have a wonderful syllabus for those with special needs.

Our classes are always fun and our dancers leave happy and smiling...ready for more dancing at home.

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We don't do this all by ourselves and are well supported by families of our students throughout the year. Without them we wouldn't be able to do everything we do for the young people.

If you have skills that can support the peforming arts then we would love to hear from you and help our story grow.

2014 promises to be another great year and we are looking forward to meeting lots of new families and helping your child grow in confidence and become a wonderful performer. You are welcome to come along and try out our classes and see our school in action before you sign up for any of our programmes.  As I update this in October 2014, what a journey, we have opened a second studio this year in the heart of Waikanae and had over 70 in the audience to our October Theatreworks holiday programme end of week concert. The year isn't over and its outperforming all my expectations.

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