Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 4 December 2009 Contents LOCAL NEWS
4 December, 2009 | Page 7
Te Anau will next year boast a
dance school for the first time
in about six years thanks to the
homecoming of young ballerina
In order to further her dancing,
Jess undertook her secondary
schooling at Southland Girls’ High
School as a boarding student at
Enwood Hostel. She has now just
completed her sixth form year
(Year 12) and has left school to
fulfil a lifelong dream of teaching
She started dancing as a four-year-
old under Te Anau teacher Jenny
Labruyère and latterly has been
a pupil of the Valmai Robertson
School of Dance.
In addition to formal dance
lessons four times a week, for
the past two years she has also
completed NCEA level 1 and 2 in
dance at school – the option of
doing so another reason for having
chosen to attend Southland Girls’.
Jess has completed her final
exam in ballet, Advanced 2, and
recently attained 95 percent
and a certificate of excellence
for her Urban Jazz 4 grade.
While she plans to stop dancing
competitively now, she does have
the option of sitting two more
urban jazz exams and is keen to
Three exams ago she reached a
level where she was allowed to
teach. Next year she will formalise
that by sitting her dance teacher’s
qualification. That will involve
writing a 3000-word essay on the
history of ballet and appearing
before an examiner to be quizzed
on a raft of technical information
from dance steps to musical
knowledge and anatomy which
she will have to both explain and
demonstrate. She will also be
asked about her own dancing
background and why she wants to
be a teacher.
The desire to teach ballet has
been there “every since I was
wee”, she said.
And she is being encouraged
to follow that dream by her own
teacher Valmai Robertson and her
former teacher Jenny Labruyère.
There is also clearly a desire from
Fiordland parents to support the
reformation of a dance school
in Te Anau. Since word got out
of her plans she had taken
19 enrolments before even
While there were plenty of
sporting opportunities here for
youngsters, activities of a more
artistic nature were a little
thinner, she said.
“Parents have been waiting for
something to come to Te Anau.”
Initially she plans to take classes
two days a week and supplement
her income by working in a local
Her Fiordland Dance School will
operate out of the Marakura Yacht
Club. She will teach ballet from
four years up and urban jazz for
those aged five or older.
Jess said she was happy to take
on learners of any age and had
already been approached about
starting a jazz class for adults.
She hoped that her school would
grow in size quite quickly and
that she would be able to share
her love of dance with as many
youngsters as possible.
“I guess it’s just the feeling of it,”
she said, when asked what it was
that made dancing so special.
“When you get into it so much you
get into your own wee world.”
Dance school dream becomes reality
Te Anau ballerina Jess Hamilton who is returning to open a dance school in the
town next year.
PHOTO: Jacqui van Dam, Lifestyle Photography
There is still limited space for
anyone interested in joining a
life guard training course to be
run at the Fiordland Community
Swimming Pool on December 10.
Fiordland Community Swimming
Pool Association president
Neil Collison said this was the
second year in a row that staff
from Splash Palace had
visited Te Anau to complete a life
guard training course.
“It’s a fantastic training
opportunity for anyone that wishes
to learn new skills and become
qualified in this aspect of water
Collaboration between Fiordland
College and the Fiordland
Swimming Pool Association was
working extremely well, ensuring
water skills and swimming were
easily available within the Te Anau
Basin, he said.
Recent financial support from the
Te Anau Community Board had
enabled the pool committee to
plan such courses with confidence
with a sustainable operating
model now in place.
“We are extremely grateful to
the Community Board for their
support,” Mr Collinson said.
The life guard course will be
held at the Fiordland Community
Swimming Pool at Fiordland
College between 9am and 5pm
The cost (including all registration
fees) is $150 per person.
need a current
first aid certificate and be able to
complete a 100m swim (4 lengths
of the pool) wearing a T-shirt and
Those interested should contact
Neil Collinson on (03) 249-8181 or
Bev Thorne (03) 249-7389.
Lifeguard training spots still available
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