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The New Zealand Dance Company is taking a leadership role in creating a viable career path in dance by presenting high calibre dancers, professionally employed and supported in NZ by world-class standards of production, and by offering collaborative educational opportunities and mentoring with our Youth Engagement Programme (YEP!).
YEP! creates access to mentoring for young people to get hooked in to dance. The art form and society are fortified by inspiring the values of courage, enthusiasm, independence and contribution that a passion for dance instils.
“Everything about the workshop was a highlight in my life!”
(YEP! Summer School Participant)
There are a number of ways we connect with young people through YEP!:
- School performances and matinees are available as part of our Lumina North Island Tour 2016 and the Tamaki Tour. Students can attend a school matinee so that they can experience the performance by leading professional dancers with repertoire that is highly engaging for ages 7 – 18. In keeping with our mission to ‘Connect the Elite with the Street’ and to create opportunities for the next generation of arts audiences, we offer school group and concession prices for our school matinees and public performances.
- School Holiday Programmes & Workshops can be offered in both private sector studios and schools, for students 11 – 18 years of age. These programmes and workshops are taught by company members and include repertoire from the company’s performance programme.
More people in New Zealand dance than play rugby, yet New Zealand has lacked a full-time, culturally-independent, professional contemporary dance company for 24 years. Because of this lack of infrastructure, many of our most talented dancers have no choice but to leave New Zealand to develop their careers. This also means that our New Zealand choreographers seldom see their major works performed more than once.
New Zealand and international research has confirmed there is a global explosion of interest in dance as an increasingly screen-based population craves three-dimensional expression.
Here in New Zealand, 549,000 of us aged 16 and above dance annually and there are at least 90,000 youngsters learning dance through studios. Dance is the fastest growing NCEA University Entrance subject in senior secondary schools. Surveys and research confirms that participation leads to attendance, supporting the need to develop a vehicle to serve a growing audience.
Dance excites and engages our youth, and the potential for developing new, younger audiences is enormous. Our challenge is to retain young talented dancers in New Zealand by ensuring the opportunity for a stimulating and rewarding dance career in this country is visible and achievable.
For more information on the YEP!, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.