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In this newsletter it is with great pleasure that we introduce the New Zealand Ballroom Dance Council’s newly elected Trustee, Fleur Grant.  Fleur was appointed at the NZBDC Annual General Meeting in February 2024.  Fleur brings eminence energy and skill to the role of Trustee.  Please join with me in congratulating Fleur Grant to the appointment of NZBDC Trustee.

 

Peter van der Veek

Chair

NZBDC

"My name is Fleur Grant, and I've been appointed as a New Zealand Ballroom Dance Council Trustee. I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.

 

My connection with Dancesport comes through my son Andrew, who is a competitive dancer, and our family has been welcomed into the Dancesport community.

 

As a classical musician and piano teacher, I'm familiar with the joys and pressures of the performing arts scene, as well as the ongoing effort required to promote arts activities in New Zealand. I have a Bachelor of Music from the University of Auckland, an LTCL in Music Education from Trinity College London and a Masters degree from Victoria University of Wellington, and I bring both academic and practical experience to my trustee role on the NZBDC.

 

One aspect of Dancesport that particularly resonates with me is its potential to be a lifelong activity. I believe in nurturing the wellbeing of dancers from a young age and supporting them to continue dancing throughout their lives. Additionally, I'm keenly interested in promoting Dancesport to the wider community and elevating its profile as a sport.  I also hold a parent perspective and that of the whanau supporting a young person to dance.  What is their experience?   How do newcomers (both children and adults) find the sport?  What, as a community, can we do to promote dance in a world of competing cultural, academic and career activities?  These are key areas of interest to me. 

 

In closing, I'm honoured to be a Trustee and I'm eager to contribute. Please don't hesitate to reach out if there's anything specific you would like to discuss or if you have any questions for me.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as a Trustee.

 

Warm regards,

Fleur Grant"


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From right to left: Amy, Enrique, Ayumi, Asher, Carey Ann, and Simon


In February and March this year, Enrique Johns & Amy Horner, Asher Robb & Ayumi Greene, Simon and Carey-Ann Barber, along with Evelyn Do attended the 2024 Asia Open Dance Tour Events in Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China. It was a wonderful adventure with many long lasting memories. Below is a lovely article from Amy & Enrique on some of their experiences. Thank you Enrique & Amy for giving New Zealanders the opportunity to experience this from your point of view.



"The lead-up to our Asian Open Dance Tour was a whirlwind of activity, filled with intense training sessions, teaching commitments, dress fittings, and fundraising efforts. Each task was a stepping stone towards turning our dreams into reality.


Our journey commenced in Tokyo, Japan, where we spent four exhilarating days immersing ourselves in the vibrant energy of the city. Navigating the bustling Tokyo trains with two large suitcases each was no easy feat, but once we arrived at our hotel, we wasted no time diving into sightseeing. Our first stop was the iconic Shibuya Scramble Crossing, followed by a practice session at a hidden gem of a dance studio, where we received a warm welcome from the locals. Competition day was a spectacle held in a beautiful hotel ballroom, where the atmosphere and talent level were unparalleled. Following the competition, we had the privilege of taking lessons with the esteemed Massimo Arcolin & Lara Z Arcolinova at another charming studio.


Asher & Ayumi


Next, we journeyed to Taipei, Taiwan, accompanied by our personal tour guides, Alex & Sandy, who made exploring the city a breeze. Despite a rocky bus ride, we checked into our hotel and registered for the upcoming competition before indulging in some mouthwatering local cuisine. The competition took place in a grand arena, offering a unique experience, especially with the addition of a Rising Star Category. Afterward, we visited a stunning hidden gem studio for a dream-come-true lesson for Eve & Enrique with the world's number one, Ina Jeliazkova.



Enrique, Evelyn, and Current World Champion Ina Jeliazkova


Our adventure continued in Seoul, South Korea, where we faced a short stay

but unforgettable experiences. Despite a delayed fight and battling food poisoning, we

checked into our hotel in the wee hours before gearing up for the competition. Held in a luxurious 7-star hotel ballroom, the event was on a whole new level, with the Professional Latin final leaving a lasting impression. The following day, we explored the competition hotel, they had an amusement park in the hotel - a true marvel!


Arriving in Shanghai, China, we anticipated three days of workshops and a cocktail event, which unfortunately got cancelled last minute. Nevertheless, we made the most of our time by training at the prestigious Cimen Lin Bing Academy, courtesy of our coach Karen Hardy and her student friend Lin Bing. The Academy left us in awe with its state-of-the-art facilities and friendly atmosphere.


Enrique Johns & Amy Horner


Competition day in Shanghai was an intimate affair in a cozy hotel ballroom, filled with talented dancers and an electrifying atmosphere. We were very privileged to dance as we were suffering from illnesses as were many other dancers. But the show must go on.


After the competitions concluded, we had a few extra days in Shanghai due to a flight delay, which we spent relaxing, indulging in delicious food, and reflecting on our incredible experiences.


Our Asian Open Dance Tour was truly mind-blowing, filled with invaluable lessons, unforgettable moments, and meaningful connections across the globe. We wholeheartedly recommend the tour to anyone seeking a transformative dance experience!"


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We sure have had a great summer! My sister and brother-in-law, from the Netherlands, have experienced the most brilliant 3 months here in Aotearoa, returning to Europe with fabulous memories of what New Zealand has to offer. We are very fortunate to have this every day and as the days get shorter again dancers are preparing for the dance year ahead of us. 

 

As NZBDC Chairman I would like to bring to your attention the great lengths organisers of our dance competitions go to making sure our sport/art form have enough moments in the year that competitors can dance against one another.  Due to the large distances within Aotearoa, it is not always possible for dancers to attend all events, therefore there are numerous local competitions being superbly organised.

 

The organisers of these competitions put in an enormous amount of time and money to make this happen:

1. A hall must be hired.

2. A dancefloor, if not present, needs to be laid

3. Judges need to be invited, scrutineering and marshalling needs to be organised.

4. Catering for all the above people.

5. Oh, and let’s not forget music and a sound system.

 

There is no doubt more we could add to this list, with a greater financial risk to the organisers, so you will understand that they are concerned when the entries for their competitions are not enough to cover the cost.  Why would you take that financial risk and put in all that time and effort?  Because of the love for dance!  And for you- the dancers.

 

To all competitors, please do not wait until the last moment to enter a competition.  It may result in it being cancelled, as we have seen on some occasions last year and at the start of this dancing year.

 

Without competitors there is no competition day but without those brave enough to run these competitions (our organisers) there will be no competitions for the dancers to attend.  Let us support one another … and …In a timely fashion!


The KIWI CLASSIC in Auckland, run under the NZBDC, is one of the first competitions that will start off the dance season this year. There will be a great number of participants across all grades and styles in the beautiful ballroom of the Grand Millennium hotel in Auckland city.  Therefore is also a great number of international Adjudicators.



Breaking News



For those attending the Outside Change and Freedom to Dance Ball in Melbourne in June, NZBDC is pleased to announce that the Organisers are offering to NZBDC Registered members, Half price entry to the workshops / master classes to be held on 9 June.  This is a great opportunity for you to learn from International Superstars.  Make sure you book your attendance by email to info@outsidechange.com.   

 

 

Wishing you a brilliant dance season ahead.

 

Peter van der Veek

Chairman

NZBDC

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