Tauranga Dance Incorporated (TDI) aims to promote, encourage and foster the study, appreciation and application of dance by organising competitions and workshops for young dancers. However, as a result of COVID-19, we have been unable to hold any in the last financial year.
In the absence of competitions, the committee decided to establish a one-off award as an alternative way to give back and support our dance community following this challenging year.
The intention of the award was to provide a financial contribution to a student(s) to pursue full time study in a recognised dance course, contribute towards classes, dance workshops or travel as part of their growth as a performer.
“This is a wonderful example of local arts organisations responding to the unexpected Covid environment, keeping a focus on artists, and being adaptable and resilient,” says Eric Holowacz, General Manager of Creative Bay of Plenty. “This dance award is a local investment in creative development, sustainability, and nurturing a new generation.”
After a thorough process involving a panel of representatives from Creative Bay of Plenty and the Performing Arts Competitions Society of New Zealand, we have selected 17 year old dancer Deija Vukona as the recipient of the $2000.00 award.
Deija has been accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance from 2021 with a long term goal of becoming a professional contemporary dancer here in Aotearoa New Zealand. “I am overwhelmed with the generosity of this organisation and appreciate what you have done for me so much. It has been a lifelong goal for me to be going to New Zealand School of Dance.”
Deija is a positive contributor to local dance here in Tauranga competing in many of TDI’s competitions and is an aspiring role model for others. Her dance teacher Kelsey Andrew of KJ Studios says “beyond Deija’s captivating and technical dance abilities, she is a dedicated, passionate and hardworking dancer, but also a humble, caring and incredibly thoughtful young girl.”
Performing Arts Competitions of New Zealand regional representative Tracey Andrew acknowledged, “This is a great way for TDI to give back and be true to its purpose.”
Image: George Novak