12 Dec

8 great gifts for dancers

With the holidays just around the corner, have you figured out what to buy the special dancer in your life? There are actually some pretty cool gifts that are perfect to give dancers, but most of us don’t have the time to search for them. To make shopping easier for you, we’ve come up with a list of the 8 Best Gifts for Dancers!


1. Dance Bracelet


The dancer in your life will love this &5678 dance bracelet!

It’s a bracelet featuring those 4 magical numbers that only dancers will understand. Instead of buying your dance friend a friendship bracelet, you could get matching ones of these! Adorable!


2. Personalized Dance Bag


Have you ever seen a cuter dance bag before in your life?!

The dancer in your life will head to dance class full of sass, sporting this sparkly sequin dance bag. Monogrammed your dancer’s name on it… She will love it!


3. Personalized Ballet Water Bottle


With hectic weeks full of dance classes, rehearsals and competitions, it’s important for dancers to stay hydrated! This personalized dance water bottle can be filled with plenty of water to keep your dancer hydrated! Drink up!


4. Beauty Box


This gift thinks outside of the box (literally), and helps the dancer in your life organize their beauty products. Between competitions and recitals, this offers plenty of spaces to organize beauty treasures, keeping your dancer looking their best!


5. Full Body Massage


Aaaah! Just the thought of a massage instantly relaxes your body. Imagine how much tension and pain is in a dancer’s body after hours and hours of non stop dance practice! Give the dancer in your life the relaxation she deserves.

Google search a spa nearest you!


6. Flexibility Stretch Band


This is exactly what every dancer needs!

A flexibility stretch band can help perfect your splits, kicks and more! The 100% latex band wraps safely around your body in a variety of ways, helping you perform deeper stretches. This would be a perfect stocking stuffer for a dancer who wants to increase their flexibility.


7. Dancer’s Clock


The time to dance is always with this super cool black and white clock.

features the most important numbers – 5, 6, 7, 8 – making it a great gift for a dancer or your dance teacher. You can even add a name to personalize it!


8. SHE SHINES ON Dance Tour


How could we forget the best gift idea ever? … A SHE SHINES ON dance tour of course!

On one of our tours your dancer will dance with some of the world’s best choreographers, perform on stage at Disney, create friendships that’ll last a lifetime, and open their eyes to a world of opportunities! It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, and the tools your dancer will discover on tour are everlasting.

11 Dec

7 interesting facts about The Nutcracker that you didn’t know

When you think of ballet and the holidays, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker is known around the world as being the classic fairy-tale ballet about a young girl who receives a magical nutcracker. For many families, watching The Nutcracker this time of year has become an annual tradition. But, there are a few facts that most people don’t know…

  1. The Nutcracker is based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffman called “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”. The original story is much darker than the ballet we all love, featuring a bloody battle between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King’s army.

  2. The story was written in 1816… Whoa, that’s over 200 years ago!

  3. You know the catchy instrumental music that makes you want to twirl around in your tutu? It was composed by Peter Tchaikovsky, who also composed the music for Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.

  4. In Germany, nutcrackers are believed to bring good luck and are often given to children as Christmas presents.

  5. The New York Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker uses about 500 pounds of paper confetti to create the snowstorm, 150 different costumes, 7 layers of tulle for the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu, 500 bobby pins, and 144 jingle bells for each Candy Cane costume!

  6. Marichen, Maria, Masha, Clara… The name of the young girl who saves the nutcracker prince has changed many times! In the original story, she is named Maria or Marie, while Clara is the name of one of her dolls. In Germany, she sometimes goes by Marichen. In Russia, she was given the name Masha.

  7. Hollywood is even getting in on the action, having just released the movie The Nutcracker and the Four Realms by Disney. The film stars Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, and Morgan Freeman… just to name a few! Rumor has it that there’s a blissful bit of choreography, featuring dance star Misty Copeland.
12 Nov

Start your day with Gratitude in 3 easy steps

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Hit the snooze button?… Have a cup of tea?… Brush your teeth?

Whatever your morning routine is, starting your day with gratitude is a wonderful way to wake up! Gratitude is all about giving thanks for the good things in your life. When you start your day with gratitude, you set the tone for the entire day to be positive and productive.

We know life can be super fast-paced and busy, so we’ve created an easy list that you can practice each morning to get your day off to a wonderful start. This morning ritual is simple and should only take a few minutes!

  1. A moment for yourself: Before you even jump out of bed, first take the time to appreciate how great your night’s sleep was and how thankful you are to simply be waking up. Take a moment to enjoy how cozy your bed feels, listen to the sounds of the birds outside your window, and smell the crisp morning air.

  2. Say thank you: As you rise from your bed, say to yourself, “Thank you for this beautiful day! It’s going to be a great one!” With each new day comes a fresh start and new opportunities!

  3. Write a list: Grab your phone or a notepad and write down at least 3 things you are grateful for today. These things might include something as basic as getting a good night’s sleep or gratitude for your loving family, positive feedback you received on an assignment you worked super hard on or an awesome friendship you have.

If you practice these tiny habits each morning – even if just one of them – you’ll find that they will make a big impact on your overall mood and outlook on life. You’ll start to feel more relaxed, optimistic and happier.

Remember – by putting positive things out to the universe, positivity naturally comes back to you. Over time, this gratitude ritual will become a regular habit, and the power of gratitude will transform your life dramatically!

16 Oct

Charlotte Johnson – Building confidence through dance

“Dancing is my passion…it makes me complete.”

UK dancer Charlotte Johnson has won a place on a SHE SHINES ON Dance Tour to LA or NYC/Orlando in 2019!

Charlotte was one of the talented dancers we scouted at the 2018 Can You Dance? Super Convention. Based on her incredible dancing she was selected to go into the draw to win our SSO/CYD? Scouting Competition.

After Charlotte was drawn as our competition winner, we found out more about her dance journey. We were so inspired by her story and had to share it with you!

Charlotte is a beautiful example of how dance can grow our confidence and get us through difficult times. We can’t WAIT to have her on tour with us and to follow her amazing journey.

“Dance saved her” – Overcoming serious illness & building confidence

Charlotte’s mother Helen explains her dance journey over the past five years…

Charlotte started dancing five years ago, and was extremely fortunate to very quickly progress into a competition team. It was soon apparent that, for Charlotte, dancing was a passion – and it soon became an integral part of her life. Charlotte quickly flourished in her dancing, last year seeing her place 7th out of over 150 entries in her modern solo entry in the UK qualifiers for Dance World Cup.

In February of this year Charlotte was dealt a cruel blow health wise when she was diagnosed with Bells Palsy, causing facial paralysis (effectively looking as if she’d had a stroke). The steroid treatment she was given made her extremely ill, and obviously her confidence was knocked massively.

Despite not attending school for seven weeks due to her treatment and studying at home independently, she didn’t miss a single training session at dance.

I have to say that dance ‘saved her’ as far as her emotional well being was concerned during these difficult weeks.

I’m pleased to say she’s made a full recovery; her last MRI scan was clear and she is now discharged from the hospital. And she’s come back fighting, with even more hunger to achieve the best that she can in her dancing.

Winning this prize is such an amazing opportunity for her. As well as the fantastic training experiences, it will help her build on her confidence and self belief, which were at an all time low when she was ill earlier in the year.

A few words from Charlotte:

Charlotte Johnson modelling Prima Dancewear.

Dancing is my passion…it makes me complete. I can’t imagine not having dance as a part of my life, and I love the feeling I get when I ‘lose myself’ when dancing.

I am determined to push myself so that I reach my full potential, my goal is to go to dance college once I have finished my studies at college.

Thank you so much SHE SHINES ON and CYD?. I’m so excited to have won this prize, I know it’s going to be an amazing experience.

03 Oct

Recent Dance Events & Competition Winners

We’re thrilled to have partnered with some exciting dance events in New Zealand and the UK last month! A huge CONGRATS to the winners and everyone who participated!


We love partnering with Dean McKerras and the DanceNZmadeteam to sponsor their Interschool competition. DanceNZmade celebrates and embraces the strength, diversity and passion of dance in New Zealand. We can get behind that!

Solo Dance Competition Winner 2018

Briar Ardern has won a place on a 2019 SHE SHINES ON LA DANCE TOUR!

Interschool Champions 2018

Tauhara College

Overall champions, the incredible Tauhara College, won a $1000 cash prize for their school’s dance department!

Interschool 2nd Place Winners 2018

Ross Intermediate

As the 1st Runner Up, Ross Intermediate won a $750 cash prize for their school’s dance department!

Interschool 3rd Place Winners 2018

Rotorua Girls’ High School

Second Runner Up Rotorua Girls’ won a $500 cash prize for their school’s dance department!

Can You Dance?

We also loved partnering withCan You Dance? (CYD?)for their Super Convention – one of the leading dance conventions in the UK, established by Matt Flint and Tom Shilcock.

SSO/CYD? Scouting Competition 2018

Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte Johnson from Scandalous Productions has won a place on a SHE SHINES ON Dance Tour to LA or NYC/Orlando in 2019! Read more about her inspiring journey


SHE SHINES ON Dance Tours is delighted to offer these amazing dancers these opportunities. We’re passionate about supporting talented dancers to SHINE – and there’s no better place to do that than on a SHE SHINES ON Dance Tour to the USA!

On tour with us the winners will:

  • take incredible dance classes at the world’s top dance studios
  • learn different dance styles from world-class choreographers
  • get insights from industry insiders such as professional dancers and agents
  • perform on stage at Disney parks and other famous tourist destinations
  • enjoy the famous sites and sounds, from theme parks to Broadway to Hollywood!

They’ll also discover amazing tools and skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. We are so EXCITED to be sharing this LIFE-CHANGING experience!

Once again, CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners. Well deserved!


Lastly, best of luck to the PACANZ National Young Performer Awards competitors this month! You’ll be AMAZING!

16 Nov

Chantell Turner – You will have the most amazing fun-packed experience!

World Class Dance Tours Los Angeles Experience

If you are looking for a holiday relaxing by the sea, curled up with a book and a leisurely snooze then book that holiday as this experience won’t be the one for you.

If you are a person who is interested in learning about yourself, meet like minded people, have oodles of fun, dance, shop, play, get caught up in the celebrity hype, fall into bed exhausted at night and get up in the morning excited with the new events for the day; then this experience is definitely the one for you!

In my life I have been to Los Angeles 5 times, Disneyland for 6 and what I can tell you is that I have been so fortunate and privileged to experience LA twice with Kim on the WCDT experience.

It is the way to experience LA.


We stayed at the Magic Castle Hotel and Hollywood Blvd was only a block away. Our hotel was a bright yellow oasis for us to retreat to; but more on that later. Many a great memory has been created at the Magic Castle Hotel.

The Blvd is so lovely and quiet first thing in the morning as I meandered down for my morning coffee- my triple shot wet cappuccino as near as I could get to my flat white back home. Then walking leisurely along to see the stars, look at the handprints at the Chinese theatre. To return later in the day to see the hustlers, characters, red carpet movie openings and getting caught up in the excitement of being there. Lights, camera, action, glitz and glamour!

The first accommodation stop Magic Castle Hotel is in my opinion one of the best family experiences that is a jewel in Kim’s crown. The hotel was clean, the staff amazing, the pool facilities and all the extras for the kids just made for the best experience. The intimate atmosphere allowed our young people to bond as they spent a lot of leisure time together enjoying the facilities and each other- they got to learn and grow together.

Of course they were there to dance. All the amazing studios; the energy, the determination and the promise of “what if” gave them such opportunities which they just would have difficulty to experience at home.

All the fun activities that LA had in store for them- Kim designed the tour in such a way that we got to experience the best and still have leisure time available to explore on our own as well.

I took off with one of the other chaperones one day and we hiked to the back of the Hollywood sign- that was a “once in a life time experience” and one I will never forget.

As a mother and chaperone on both tours I got to immerse with young and dynamic people and experience everything with their eyes. The overwhelming pride and tears seeing them perform on Hollywood Blvd and on stage at Disneyland- this is one for a lifetime memory.

Our young people are so talented and watching them to explore this is a privilege. To have the opportunity to participate in Disney Workshop is fantastic, seeing your child dance on stage is one experience that words would be difficult to describe- even the toughest dad would find it difficult to hold back tears!

The whole WCDT experience which was supported by Performance.net taught our young people discipline, determination, self governing, budgeting and lots and lots of fun.

My daughters and my charges were encouraged to arrange their own meals, manage their own financial budget, and self govern in regards to their health and well being, while I stood on the sidelines quite prepared to encourage and intervene if necessary. There is nothing like being on holiday with your own money and deciding what shopping item is really an essential. My daughters loved the shopping and became really proficient at decision making. Their self confidence grew from day to day and it was fabulous to witness.

World Class Dance Tours are well organised and the schedules set out were designed to maximise all the great things LA had on offer. No participants were lost or harmed throughout the tour; minor dancing injuries aside the potential for burnout from exhaustion and fun would be the biggest casualty and as there were chaperones and experienced facilitators on hand, loving hugs; empathy and encouragement for healthy sleep was the most that was required.

My girls thoroughly loved the experience; they learnt so much. The tour caters for all dancing levels so even if you’re a beginner you will soon be dancing like it has been a part of your life for years.

If as a parent you are pondering the discipline and expense for your family to have this experience; my advice would be to not let that hold you back. Just sign the papers and do it. From a financial aspect going back the second time so my youngest could have the experience was a challenge but the reward far exceeded the stress and determination to get there.

You will have the most amazing fun-packed experience; so much so that you will come home filled with pride, enthusiasm and wonder why you ever contemplated not going!

The sun shines every day! You get to be a child at Disney! You get to be a fan in Hollywood! You get to travel and be outside your comfort zone.

Do it!

In fact….where do I sign……

Chantall Turner, Chaperone

Pform.nz, April 2017

14 Nov

Jackie Melvin – It was definitely a trip of a lifetime

Hi my name is Jackie and my daughter is Hannah, we were part of the WCDT April 2017 Open Tour to LA.   That meant we were part of a group of dancers and chaperones from other parts of NZ.  We are from Taupo, the others were from Palmerston North, Wellington and Auckland. We had 19 dancers and 7 chaperones in our group.

We were accompanied by Brooke Parsons our mentor choreographer and dance teacher from Palmerston North. We felt very special being part of an open tour, our girls had to learn their dance routines via dropbox, they were responsible for organising the practices and learning the routines themselves. Then Brooke touched based with each group individually in our towns before the tour to run through the routines for Hollywood Boulevard and Disneyland.

We all met for the first time at Auckland airport and got to hang out together and travel on the same flight to LA. Once we got to LA we were met by our gorgeous and friendly tour managers from WCDT, we had the awesome Danielle who made us feel so welcome and looked after us for the rest of our time in LA. The other dance groups had their own tour managers, but all tour managers were there for anyone in the groups who needed advice, ideas, or just to have a laugh.

I was so impressed with the organisation of the whole tour, every evening we received a tour sheet about our next day activities, details, times etc… everything was run so smoothly you always knew what was ahead and could prepare yourself.

For me as a mum and chaperone one of my favourite things from the tour was seeing my daughter dance, sounds like a cliché but it’s true, she loved being at the dance studios with professional choreographers running the workshops. The first day we walked to IDA dance studio and walked up the stairs it was exciting. The girls were so excited about the unknown and what was expected of them. All their expectations were met and more, they loved the classes and the characters who took them. Hannah’s favourite was the twerking class with Cedric, he was so energetic and inspiring not to mention funny. The girls didn’t want his class to end.

Visiting the three dance studios was such a privilege and the girls gave the classes 100%.   They also had the opportunities during these times to practice for their performances on Hollywood Boulevard and at Disneyland, I loved these first few days as it was the first time our open tour had danced together as one group and our girls got on like a house on fire, and Brooke was so professional and patient putting it all together.

My highlight was watching our girls dance on Hollywood Boulevard, they shone dancing outside Madame Tussauds,  in front of the boulevard crowds it was thrilling.   Then to have the opportunity to dance on a Disneyland Stage was awesome. Our girls looked amazing and danced with such pride being from New Zealand and dancing in front of people from all over the world, it made me very emotional being a part of it. Our open tour girls were so professional they danced together like a real team they made us all feel very extremely proud.

Hannah and I also really loved staying at the Magic Castle, not just because of all the free treats, but the location. It was great walking one block down and you were on Hollywood Boulevard, I was so impressed with our girls, they took the whole place in their stride. They loved being in amongst the hustle and bustle that is Hollywood Boulevard. It all added to their LA experience, and what is was like away from their lives in NZ.

The tour was non- stop, dancing, shopping, surprises, laughing, crying, walking, running, travelling, site seeing, Disneyland, Universal studios, everything you wanted it to me and more.  If I was to give any advice it would be to make sure your dancers eat well, drink loads of water, and manage to get some rest if you can get them to keep still long enough.

Every evening I listened to my daughter and her new dance family talk constantly about their day and what they thought about it, and what they were looking forward to the next day etc… not once did I hear a negative conversation. They were thrilled with their dance experiences at the studios, or couldn’t wait for their up and coming performances. The shopping was amazing, or about the characters they had met that day. The whole tour was full of anticipation for the next days of adventure, for us all.

I was so impressed with Kim and her amazing team, none of us knew what to expect really, we had the itinerary etc. to go by, but It was always above and beyond our expectations. This made all those long days fundraising and extra dance classes, etc before the tour worth it.

My daughter Hannah couldn’t get enough of her WCDT experience, she loved every single minute of it. I saw her change in LA, she saw a small glimpse of what other opportunities there are in the dance world. It showed Hannah how hard you have to work, and how dedicated, positive, determined you have to be to be a part of this world.

I was impressed with WCDT and how they showed our girls what they would need to be a part of the dance world overseas. The workshops, seminars, performance opportunities, interviews all an insight into what it would be like. It hasn’t put my daughter off, if anything it has made her more determined to work harder and to strive for her dreams. Hannah is only 14 years old but this tour has made her want to plan ahead and work for her dreams, it was a massive eye opener for her at this age.

She has talked non- stop about her trip since she has been home to anyone and everyone who will listen, she wants to go back asap and her dreams are just that little bit stronger now. I can’t thank Kim Davey and her amazing team enough, for making these opportunities available for our children.   It was definitely a trip of a lifetime. I have also made friends for life from it, and was thrilled to be able to be a part of the tour and to be there with my daughter.

Jackie Melvin, Chaperone

NZ Open Team, April 2017

14 Nov

Allegra Canton – It is a memory I will cherish forever

I went on the 2017 World Class Dance Tour to LA and what an experience it was! It was such an action packed two weeks with the perfect balance of work and play.

As a slightly older member at the tour at the ripe old age of 22 I was worried that I wouldn’t get as much out of the tour as some of the younger members, I was pleasantly mistaken. All the tutor classes were streamed into junior, intermediate and senior, meaning we were all challenged at our respective levels. We also got the opportunity to take open classes at amazing studios such as The Edge, IDA and Millennium Dance. These classes were open to the public and were a great eye opener to how high the standard of dance is in LA. I can speak for most of the members on the tour when I say we all walked out of those classes feeling exhausted but inspired by the talent of the choreographers and the LA dancers.

One of my favorite parts of the tour was our experience at Anaheim Disneyland. We spend three jammed packed days at the park performing, taking a workshop and enjoying the magic of Disney. Our tour was lucky enough to perform on the beautiful Fantasyland stage opening out onto an outdoor auditorium. It was such a thrill to get to perform up on that stage in front of all the park guests and it is a memory I will cherish forever. The next day we had the Disney workshop with the amazing Joshua Horner. This was the perfect insight into the audition process of Disney and how to become a cast member. I took so much knowledge away from that workshop and am so grateful for the opportunity to attend. It was also a heap of fun to get to enjoy our free time in the Disney Park and the California Adventure Park- Space mountain was freaking insane, my favorite ride by far!

The organisation of the tour was amazing! Everything was planned out for us so we could focus on working hard in the dance classes and enjoying our trip. It was so nice to come back to the hotel after a long day of dancing and have an itinerary sitting there telling us exactly what the next day had in store. Kim and the tour managers were so lovely and welcoming it was such an enjoyable experience. I am now holding out for the 18 years and older trip! Can’t Wait!!

Allegra Canton, Dancer

Chilton Dance Centre – April 2017



14 Nov

Nicole Downey – I am so amazed and inspired with the experience that I have had on this tour

My name is Nicole Downey and I got to go on the amazing 2017 LA tour. It was the best experience of my life – I am so amazed and inspired with the experience that I have had on this tour. I achieved some goals and got to go to many places that I couldn’t have imagined ever going! The people I went on the tour with have ended up being my best friends for life because of how much of a great bond we have made together.

I have learnt so much from being on this tour and have built up more confidence for things that I want to do in the future! One of the best things that I will never forget was getting the opportunity to go to the live taping of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and watch them perform. We even got to go on the Dancing with the Stars stage and be on live TV! That same day I got to meet some of my favorite celebrities backstage before going on, my mind was blown!!!!! I couldn’t believe it.

We did a lot of stuff such as going to Disneyland and Universal Studios in Hollywood, even touring celebrities’ houses! We got to take super fun dance classes at Millennium, IDA and much more, plus the dance teachers were extremely funny and nice and always made sure that everyone was smiling and having fun!

When we first arrived in America we got to meet our Tour Managers from World Class Dance Tours for 2017, they were amazing. They were always with you to show you through the way, they were people that you could talk too, have fun with and they were there 24/7 if you needed anything, they really made the tour experience that I will never forget and we couldn’t have done this without them.

On the tour we got to perform at Disneyland’s Fantasyland stage! That was UNBELIEVABLE my dream has been to always go to Disneyland and then when I find out that I was actually going to perform at Disneyland I went CRAZY!! I was so excited and the whole time I was on the Disneyland stage I felt like I was on top of the world I loved every second of it

I had the absolute best time in America it has been so amazing and I would definitely love to do it again!! The amount of things that I have learnt and have been inspired to do is crazy and I have definitely found out who I want to become in the future. This tour has definitely changed my life and I don’t regret anything that we did. I am already saving up every single dollar I have in my bank account so I can go back in a few year’s time. This has been such a cool breath taking experience for me and others and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking about going on this tour! I loved it and hope to go again in the future!

Nicole Downey, Dancer

April 2017

14 Nov

Jo Davies – I loved the chance to go away with my daughter, just focussing on her passions and dreams

“Mum can we pleeeeease go to the meeting?” way back in April last year my daughter Grace asked me. “It’s about a really cool dance tour to L.A.”

Sigh. Hopefully the meeting will be a drag, Grace will be bored, and that will be the end of that I thought, as off we trotted to the meeting at our local dance studio one cold, bleak, mid-week night.

Well, the bleakness evaporated as quickly as a fairy godmother can turn a pumpkin into a glittering carriage when Kim Davey appeared like a vision in front of us. I kept looking to see if there were Disney birds following in her wake.

She had us all absolutely entranced. Enthusiastic, articulate, beautiful, radiant, gentle, organised, sincere, intelligent, genuine… this woman glows with a passion that only living one’s life purpose can give.  Kim told us about her dream to provide young kiwi teenagers with the opportunity to experience the performing arts outside of NZ. An opportunity that she never had (as a young girl with an absolute passion for performing). Her dream turned into a business, law was subsequently ditched, and before long ‘World Class Dance Tours’ was up and running and young teenagers interested in the performing arts now get to experience the trip of a lifetime.

Grace and I signed up immediately after that meeting. My thought was: here is an incredible female role model that I (without a doubt) want Grace to have in her life.

What impressed me was how everything that Kim outlined in that first meeting was exactly how it was.  Actually it may have even been better.  She promised and delivered, massively.

I loved and was hugely grateful for the attention to detail, the efficiency, the low (actually No) stress, but most of all the FUN! Kim knows teenagers AND parents so she nails the fun for the teens and the superb organisation for the parents. Actually the parents enjoyed the fun too 🙂

The experience the students gain is outstanding, opportunities to learn with top of their game choreographers very few would ever get a chance to learn from, dancing “stages” to perform on like Disneyland (!!) and Hollywood Boulevard (!!) and even the U.S. television programme Dancing With the Stars (!!!!!) Does it get any more fabulous? I have never seen a group of young teenage girls so excited, so happy, so optimistic, forming such close friendships, developing incredible skills, and having an amazing holiday at the same time.

I also loved the chance to go away with my daughter, just focussing on her passions and dreams. Magical. It’s not an opportunity that presents itself often, for that length of time. I loved being a witness to her literally maturing in front of my eyes. Seeing her blossom in the workshops, gain confidence, work hard, I loved listening to her talk about some long term goals she now had, and see her utter contentment at being amongst “her tribe”. I loved seeing her be herself.

I also really enjoyed being a chaperone! I decided while at Universal studios (Oh did I mention that? Amongst all the dancing we also got to play at theme parks…) Anyway, 13-17 year old teenage girls are perfect theme park companions. Still with the excitement of a young child but with the maturity of an adult, it was just constant joy, fun, and laughter, but if they disappeared it was not a drama. Also they can manage their own food, hydration, sun block, and go on the really scary rides by themselves. It’s excellent.

I need to mention the tour guides, as they were another highlight for me. Kim has a little team working with her and the 3 tour guides on our trip I now consider good friends.  Passionate about what they do, they share the same interests and skills as the teenagers, so the bonding was instant. Again they quickly became role models for our daughters and had such a refreshing freshness and optimism about them that I came away from the trip feeling as though the world is an exciting place for our kids to be becoming adults in. I think that was the biggest gift for me, when the world can feel a bit bleak and the outlook seem a bit grim, World Class Dance Tours shows you that this is definitely not the case.

The world is full of, and bursting with opportunities, fun and adventure.

Live one’s dream.

It’s what we are put on the planet to do.

And be kind to one another.

This was the gift World Class Dance Tours gave Grace and I.

(PS We loved the trip so much, we have just signed up for the New York one next year!)

Jo Davies, Chaperone

NZ Open Team, April 2017

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