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 beauty box 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.

This dancer’s 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!

06 Mar

Bryce Campbell – It will be life changing!

Hi all, I’m Bryce Campbell from Tauranga, NZ…

Early in 2014 my daughter Isla Campbell came home excited about the prospect of the performing arts classes of Otumoetai College touring to LA in 2015. So who’s this World Class Dance Tours I say? Lots of questions and anyway a few weeks later a very excited lady called Kim gave us an AMAZING presentation. Yes the word amazing has come up lots, before during and after this trip. Chaperones where also required and to cut a long story short I joined in and in July 2015 off we went! I was excited about the tourist attractions but as I learnt, this trip was soooo much more than that!

As a parent you can have your doubts about these things but I can honestly say this experience was worth it’s weight in gold for us all. Kim packs sooooo much in it’s quite amazing. We were all worn out and slept well on the flight home, something I usually find difficult to do.

As Isla has written she since been back to LA and studied for three months at one of the studios you get to dance at on tour (IDA). I am very proud of her development along with the on going support Kim offers. The even bumped into each other in LA!!!

In short, this tour is quite possibly one of the best things your teenager will ever get the opportunity to do. It will be life changing an is an excellent investment in their future.

Love the on going contact and support past tour participants too.

Yes Kim….. it was AMAZING!


Bryce Campbell

09 Feb

Isla Campbell – Sometimes you just need that little reminder that you are good enough

My name is Isla Campbell, I’m from Tauranga, New Zealand and I went on the LA tour in July 2015. I started dancing from a very young age and there’s nothing in this world that I love more, it is my absolute passion and I’ve known for a very long time that I want to make a career out of it.
When I first heard about the tour I knew I had to go. Dancing at some of the biggest studios in LA such as, IDA, Millennium and The Edge, plus going to Disney Land, Universal Studios and shopping until I drop, I mean what more could a girl want? It seemed like a dream come true. But what we experienced on this wonderful tour was so much more, and the best part? World Class Dance Tours made it a reality.

One of my favourite things about this tour was most definitely all the classes I got to take. screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-33-08-pmBut it wasn’t just about taking part in a lesson, it was about meeting insanely talented dancers and choreographers who got to share their knowledge and their journey with us, how they got to where they are now. Everyone’s journey is so different and it’s so amazing to be able to learn from these people. I really wanted to take in all this information and let it inspire and motivate me to become nothing but the absolute best I can be. I loved every class I took, from ballet to hip hop to burlesque and even twerking! But my favourite class I took was Jazz funk with the incredible Michael Silas, seen in the photo on the right.

Not all of it was what I was used to, I got to explore different styles and was forced to step out of my comfort zone.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-33-22-pmAnother highlight of the tour would have to be dancing on Hollywood boulevard. The fact that I got to dance on Hollywood boulevard itself was amazing but the amount of people that stopped and watched us was even crazier. It was an experience I will never forget. Dancing aside, we can’t forget about the tourist activities! Because this was my first over seas trip it was my first time going to Disney Land, so I was very excited as I’m sure you can imagine. Getting the opportunity to dance on the stage there was pretty special too. It’s true what they say, it really is thescreen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-33-33-pm happiest place on earth. I also loved universal studios and the Warner Bro’s studio tour. The shopping was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed our day at Santa Monica, soaking up the beautiful Cali sun on the beach and exploring the Pier.

We also got to see a musical which was Hairspray, now that really made me want to boogie! I was so into it the whole time I wanted to get up and dance with them and then at the very end of the show I remember the cast picking audience members out to have a groove with them on stage, I was straight up there of course. But my absolute favourite thing about this whole trip was seeing So You Think You Can Dance live. This was the most exciting thing for me because I love this programme so much and I’ve been watching it for years. I never thought I’d get to see it live.

I got a lot out of this tour. It really opened up my eyes and I realised there’s much more to this industry than I originally thought. I love New Zealand and it’s a lovely place but there definitely aren’t opportunities here like there are in LA, it really is the place to be for a career in this industry.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-36-04-pmThe motivational coaching sessions we had were an extremely helpful touch, sometimes you just need that little reminder that you are good enough and you can do anything you set your mind to. Too much positivity definitely never hurt anyone and I loved the constant inspiration and motivation.

Since doing this tour I have been back to LA and studied full time at IDA in the Certificate Program. I just loved it so much the first time I couldn’t wait to get back over there, so I moved to the other side of the world for three months to live my dream. I met some incredible people and made life long connections that I screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-36-16-pmcherish very much. I improved and grew so much and not only as a dancer but as a person. I hope to go back as soon as possible and maybe one day even get a working visa.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to do this tour, it is definitely worth doing and I’m so beyond happy to have experienced it.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-36-25-pmThank you to Kim for giving me and many other young dancers such an amazing opportunity and unforgettable experience. And thank you for the constant love and support even two years after doing the tour.

Isla Campbell

07 Feb

Kristi Dahm – I came home more determined than ever ….

I was lucky enough to be accepted onto two World Class Dance Tour’s, and experience the dance industry in Sydney, Australia in 2013, and Los Angeles, United States in 2014.

What attracted me to this company was the vast range of dance opportunities which were offeredscreen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-00-pm on each tour. There were opportunities to experience dance classes from world class choreographers, at many different well known studios. In Sydney these included Urban Dance Centre and Brent Street, and in LA The Edge, Millennium and IDA Hollywood. Not only were multiple classes in a range of different genre scheduled daily, we also had the freedom to choose classes which we wanted to take. Add in plenty of extra time for sightseeing in these incredible places, and we found ourselves a part of an incredible tour. As part of the Sydney tour, you visit places such as the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Bondi Beach, and Taronga Zoo. In Los Angeles, the group accommodation is a meer two-minute walk from the bustling Hollywood Boulevard. Here you get to experience tours around Beverly Hills, Warner Bro’s, visit Universal Studios, the Hollywood sign, and of course, Disneyland, CA.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-50-47-pmI found both tours to be absolutely fantastic, and one of the best opportunities I have ever had. Once on tour, daily schedules were prepared and handed out the evening before, which outlined the plan for the next day (which dance classes we would take, approximate times, what we needed to bring with us etc). I always felt prepared for what was coming next. Kim has a real gift with people which allows her to communicate effectively with many different ages. Her organisation is impeccable, which meant I was always well informed about what was required and expected of us at all times. Her bubbly and outgoing personality made me feel comfortable and relaxed, which resulted in many laughs throughout the tour.

The highlights for me, were taking classes in LA at the Edge Studios and Millennium Dance Complex. I had grown up hearing about these amazing studios where famous singers and actors had trained, so couldn’t wait to experience classes there for myself.

It was everything I had expected and more. At first I struggled to pick up the choreography as their screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-11-pmteachers taught a lot faster than many in New Zealand, however I found myself thriving in the classes and really being challenged. Amongst many dancers from all over the world, I also managed to find myself in the same contemporary class as the lead female dancer in the movie Step Up: Revolution. She is one of my idols so getting to dance in the same class was inspiring. Having the opportunity to dance with someone of her importance and passion was incredible, and something which I will never forget.

As amazing as these classes were, nothing bet having the opportunity to dance at Disneyland, as well as take a workshop with one Disney’s most well-known directors. As part of this workshop we did a few combinations down the room, and then at the end were told who they would hire out of the group if it was a live audition. I found that the director would only take people that made eye contact with him when coming across the floor, which I found very interesting and certainly a tip to remember. As for dancing on the Disneyland stage, it was amazing being able to showcase our talent in front of many Disney personnel, as well as get a taste of what our life could be as a professional dancer working for Disney.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-19-pmWhile on the LA tour, Kim managed to organise a private audition with Princess Cruises for selected members of our tour group who potentially had a future interest in working in the entertainment industry on board ships. She also managed to find the time in our tour for us to go to a live open dance audition which Royal Caribbean Cruises were also holding over the two-week period which we were in America. From taking part in these two auditions, I learnt very quickly how intense and particular the dance world really is. A lot of the time, whether you are offered a professional dance job or not isn’t anything to do with how you dance.

Majority is how you look. What companies are looking for in particular can vary from such as hair colour, eye colour, dress size, height, weight, shoe size. More often than not, the judging panel walks into an audition room already with a pre-conceived idea on exactly what kind of dancer they are looking for. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, you won’t be what they are looking for, and that is the way it goes. I also learnt that when you are in a room with 100 other female dancers who are all wanting the same job, you need to find ways to make yourself stand out from the rest. The most common one being – put yourself out there and stand at the very front, right in the judging panels eye line. This will automatically make them notice you and pay attention, as you are placing yourself close to them.

This is just an example of two audition techniques which I learnt on the LA World Class Dance Tours. Byscreen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-28-pm being in real audition situations, I could watch other dancer’s techniques for standing out, and who was offered professional contracts. This meant that when the time came for me to audition again, I had a head start over others who had never experienced an audition before, and apply these techniques which I learnt on the tour.

On both the Sydney and LA tour, many other seminars were run throughout the two-week period. These included money handling/management, the secret to a positive outlook on life, the importance of nutrition, vision boards, Agency talks, and many guest speakers from people who have been successful in the entertainment industry. These all provided in depth insight into some of the other aspects which go hand in hand with a successful career. I personally, found the money handling seminar interesting as it is known that dancers are never well paid. I now hold some skills which will help me to budget what I earn, as well as knowledge on how it is possible to make a low sum on money into a larger sum. I also loved learning about ‘The Secret’ and how a small change in thinking, can change your life. Through learning about this, I try and apply it to my everyday life.

Overall, both the Sydney and Los Angeles tours helped me in more ways than one. Not only did I learn many different dances from a range of well- known choreographers, I also gained audition tips, knowledge on how to handle money, the secret to a positive lifestyle, what agencies look for when they are hiring people for their books, and how many different opportunities are available for dancers. Mainly, I learnt that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

Before I went on these tours I had a lot of self-doubt. I wasn’t even sure if dance was the right career path for me. Throughout my dance life I was constantly told that I wasn’t good enough, and was always being compared to other dancers. I came home feeling fresh, inspired and more determined than ever to make dance into a professional career.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-37-pmI am now currently three months into my second cruise ship contract as a production dancer, working for Costa Cruises. Working on ships is proving to be everything I thought it would be and more. Being able to do what I love in front of thousands of people every night, while travelling around Italy, France and Spain for 7 months at a time is amazing. I hope to continue working on ships for a year or two more, so that I can discover even more places in the world.

I have a lot to thank World Class Dance Tours for. Although I gained both of my cruise contracts through video audition, every live audition which I have done, I feel a lot more comfortable with since participating in these tours. Being inspired by other dancers and experiencing some of the opportunities available to dancers re-ignited my passion.

These tours created some of the best memories I have ever had, which I will carry with me. Not only do you get to travel and dance in some amazing places for two weeks, you also make friends which so many others who have the same dreams. I would recommend World Class Dance Tours in a heartbeat, as a tour that will change lives. I am very fortunate for the opportunity in which Kim gave me. She is an incredible woman to work with and this is not an opportunity you would want to miss.

– Kristi Dahm, Dancer

01 Feb

Kristie Mortimer – Life of a WCDT Team Leader

In April 2016 I experienced the trip of a lifetime. As the team leader for the Twin Cities team I took a group of 18 dancers from Auckland and Wellington on a World Class Dance Tours trip to Los Angeles. My team consisted of dancers aged from 12 to 26 years old, and what I loved most about the tour was that every member on my team thoroughly enjoyed it all, regardless of their age and experience. There are many highlights from the tour, but to name a few these include the activities and workshops, the tour managers and other tour groups, and the performances from the trip.

The tour included a large variety of activities such as Hollywood home tours, shopping trips,screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-48-42-pm a trip to Santa Monica Pier, theme parks and dance shows – including being in the live audience at Dancing with the Stars! Each of these activities were exciting, fun and allowed us to see a whole lot of LA. They were all very well organised and I would love to go back and do them all again. Some activities also included team bonding and personal development which were directed by the tour managers themselves. These activities allowed us get to know each other better and really inspired myself and the other dancers to aspire to the best we can be. For the Twin Cities team, the team bonding was especially useful as the Auckland and Wellington dancers on my team did not meet in person until we all arrived in LA.

In addition to all of the activities, the diverse dance workshops we attended were a huge highlight of the trip. My dancers and I learnt various genres of dance including hip hop, jazz, contemporary, burlesque and twerking, which were taught by some of the best teachers, dancers and choreographers in LA and at world renown studios such as IDA, Millennium and Edge. The workshops were fun yet challenging and all of the teachers were really happy to have us there. We also had talks from real agents and dancers from LA. These were insightful and it was really interesting to hear how the dance industry works. Two other very exciting workshops screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-49-49-pmwe also participated in were held at Disneyland. One was held as a mock audition, which also added to the knowledge we were gaining about dance in LA. The other was based on an aspect of dance and performance. The teacher spoke with me beforehand about our upcoming performance at Disneyland and asked if there was anything I think my team needed to work on. I suggested expressions and performance attitudes which she took on board and delivered the whole workshop around. This helped my team and I hugely not only for our performance but for each dancer individually beyond the trip also.

The people on the trip were also a significant highlight. The tour managers were all extremely helpful, knowledgeable and friendly, and really contributed to the enjoyment of the trip. They became not only staff members of the tour but great friends to all of the teams. The other teams themselves were also great to be on tour with. It was exciting to see other groups of dancers embarking on the same journey and being able to support their performances as well as having them support us.

The biggest highlight and most memorable moments of the trip were the two performances my team and I did. We performed not only at Disneyland but also on Hollywood Boulevard. Both performances were thrilling, successful and a feat that I thought would only be achieved a dream. As the team leader I was extremely happy with how my dancers performed and really enjoyed dancing alongside them. How many people can say they have performed at Disneyland and on the Hollywood Boulevard?!

Alongside the highlights, I received so much personally from the tour. The trip was inspiring and insightful, and I learnt so much. As a leader and teacher, I learnt what does and doesn’t work when leading a team on such a massive trip. I learnt how to manage two groups in two different locations (Auckland & Wellington), how to choreograph with these two groups and how to run rehearsals when two separate groups come together for the first time. Being on the tourscreen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-50-42-pm around other dancers and teachers, and being immersed in the dance industry also inspired me to become a better teacher, and to continue to challenge, motivate and nourish my students in any way I can. As a dancer, I was given a huge insight into the dance industry and dance world in LA. With the industry being much larger and very different to the one in Auckland and throughout New Zealand there was so much to learn and take in while on tour. In two weeks I learnt many things as mentioned – different genres of dance, aspects of dancer/choreographers’ lives and the ways agencies work. This knowledge is useful in considering my own place in the dance world, but also useful to pass on to other students who may hold an interest in becoming a professional dancer. As an individual, I believe the entire trip contributed to many aspects of my professional development. This includes leadership skills through leading the

Twin Cities team; communication skills which were required between myself and the dancers, their parents, the tour managers and the other teams; self-confidence in my ability to achieve a successful performance at Disneyland and Hollywood boulevard; and many others such as time management, initiative and positive thinking.

Since being on the tour I have been able to utilize these developed skills in many areas of my life – such as when at University studying my Doctorate, lecturing a dance paper at the University of Auckland, and when teaching young people at an afterschool studio. The knowledge and advice I received while on tour continue to contribute to my dance and career aspirations. I aim to be the best teacher and dance scholar I can be, and strive to push my students in the same way while giving them the best learning opportunities. Additionally, knowing aspects of what the dance industry is like I can share my experiences and inspiration from the tour with my students.

Overall, the tour was organised and always exciting, the team managers were friendly and enthusiastic, the accommodation was comfortable and fun, and the performances were thrilling. The entire experience of the World Class Dance Tours Los Angeles tour is one I could do again and again.

Kristie Mortimer
Twin Cities Team Leader 2016

01 Feb

Hope Wylde – The most unreal thing i have ever done!

I don’t even know where to begin!!! ……..On my WCDT LA Dance Tour we stayed right in the heart of Hollywood, just a block away from the main strip, Hollywood Boulevard. We even witnessed a movie premier with the red carpet, cameras and all! even that was just an eye opener, you don’t see that everyday!

We got to take AMAZING dance classes at the top studios (IDA Hollywood, Millennium Dance Complexscreen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-45-59-pm and Edge Pac) with top choreographers where artists such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Chris Brown and many more have danced and trained, you name the artist i can guarantee you they have stepped foot in these studios!

We had our own private classes with just the tour group and we also had the chance to jump in so regular classes with all the LA locals which was awesome. I cant even find the words to explain how good the dance classes were (hence why you need to go on a tour and see for yourself!) the choreographers are all such great teachers and it was really cool to experience an LA class in general.

We also had Seminars with some of the choreographers/dancers where we all just sat down in a room and they shared their experiences and jobs they’ve done such as back up dancing on tour with an artist, music videos, auditions etc also how they started off in the dance world how to get in on the dance scene screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-46-09-pmin LA and pretty much how to make it as a dancer over there as its tough because every single person is good. Myself along with another girl from the tour had the chance to take one of our most favourite of all time choreographers classes, i was literally trying so hard to keep my cool and not be to much of a fan girl, his name is Matt Steffanina.

This was a major highlight for me as i look up to him, i always watch his videos on Youtube so to actually be in one of his classes in real life in Los Angeles left me speechless it was like a tick off of my bucket list!

Besides all the wicked dance classes we took most days, of course we did the theme parks and all sights to see in LA! Also having free time to go roaming and shopping and trying all the food of course. The Runyon Canyon Hike was insane, you’re probably thinking a hike? really? but WOW…the view is so worth the dead feeling legs once you reach the top, you can literally see the WHOLE of the city from up there, the city on one side and the Hills and Hollywood sign on the other. I didn’t want to walk back down! I evenscreen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-46-23-pm done the hike a second day at 6:30 to watch the sun come up over LA and my goodness it is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, I’m not even exaggerating.

We done the famous Hollywood Tours where we were driven up through Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive and up to some gorgeous look outs to see the Hollywood sign (although you could see that from almost everywhere) and not to mention see the homes of Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Ellen Degeneres, The Beckhams, Lil Wayne and so many more. As well as homes/places where things like the Matrix and Fresh Prince of Belair were filmed.

Then of course we done a VIP tour of Warner Brothers Studios, where we got to see all the TV/Movie sets and lots from shows including Pretty Little Liars, Desperate Housewives and we even got to go on the real sets of The Mentalist and Friends which was super cool! We done the same sort of thing at Universal studios Hollywood which we got to do on one of our off days but obviously got to do all the rides and attractions as well as see a live stunt show where they had stuntmen from shows like NCIS and even a guy of High School Musical, as you can imagine we were all fan girling over that!!

Then there was Santa Monica Beach day, a day to relax in the California sunshine! If we weren’t lying on the beach or swimming, or shopping we were up on the Santa Monica Pier doing all the rides!! This was also a super fun day!

Then towards the end of the trip we moved to Anaheim California, about a 40 minute bus ride from Hollywood. Anaheim is where the amazing Disney Land is where we got to stay a 5 minute walk away from park. You can imagine all the excitement for these last 3 days at Disney, i mean who’s bucket list is Disney Land not on right??

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-46-36-pmNot only were we just going to Disney Land but taking a class/ experiencing a mock audition at BACKSTAGE Disney, when i say backstage i mean strictly nobody but the staff are allowed back there as thats where all the magic happens, no cameras allowed no nothing so we all felt very honoured and privileged to experience this. The mock audition at backstage Disney felt so surreal, i felt so extremely nervous it felt that legit. Definitely a push out of the comfort zone, especially for me as i was the only one in the tour group having only done Hip Hop my entire life, so doing jazz routines etc was challenging but i enjoyed every moment of it, this was a once in a lifetime experience i couldn’t not participate!

Disney Land itself is really the most magical place like they say, no matter how old you are! The rides are beyond amazing there really is no way to explain Disney Land its something you have to go see!! So having the opportunity to just go there was crazy, i was like a kid in a candy store for the very first time.

This trip was honestly the most unreal thing i have ever done, again i can’t find the words to explain properly. You gain enormous amounts of knowledge to the point where your brain just wants to pop (in a good way!!) the experiences and opportunities are for sure a once in a lifetime thing. I mean you can always go back to Los Angeles but the things World Class Dance Tours allows you to do on this trip is unbeatable.

You make life long friends and truely find yourself as a dancer. This has helped me realize so many things about myself, my future goals and what i want to pursue as a dancer, where i want to go with it and what i need to do to get there.

Since this trip i have moved from New Zealand over to Brisbane Australia to work on my dancing, as i mentioned earlier i have only ever done Hip Hop since i was 6 (I’m now 19) so being here is helping me learn other genres which the trip to LA helped me do, without this whole experience i wouldn’t have gained half as much knowledge that i have from this trip alone.
It is truely life changing, so i encourage anyone that has a passion for dance to take one of the WCDT trips it will seriously change you whole outlook on dance and even life itself, lets just say it left me gobsmacked and i did not want to come home!!!!!!!!!

– Hope Wylde, Dancer