09 Jan

A Year in Review: Our Favorite Memories from Last Year

Wow! What an amazing year it’s been! We are so thankful for all of the memories we’ve shared with you and look forward to making many more in 2019. Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane and reminisce on some of our most favorite memories from the past year.

Performing at Disney

We have had so many amazing teams perform on stage at Disney this year. This performance is by the Theatre Dance Association, all the way from South Africa! Watch as they perform an awesome African inspired dance at the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim California!

Exploring NYC

New York City is the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of!” These Starvistas from Leisa Payne School of Dance are on top of the world here in the Big Apple! The girls got to take classes at Broadway Dance Center, watch Broadway shows, navigate their way through the famous city subway, and explore in Central Park! The contagious energy of this city will live through these girls for a lifetime.


Events & Sponsorships

We’ve been lucky to partner with some incredible dance events in New Zealand and the UK! Check out our winning cheques below that we gave out to some amazing dance teams and individual dancers at DanceNZmade. Our lucky winners won cash prizes for their schools dance department and one lucky dancer – Briar Ardern – won a place on our 2019 LA Dance Tour! It was truly unforgettable seeing the expressions on the dancers’ faces when they were announced as winners. Thank you to the fabulous Dean McKerras, DanceNZmade Founder and Director who gives so many dancers the opportunity to do what they love, year after year! You are a superman!


We Can’t Forget the Amazing Dance Classes

Here’s a throwback to one of our classes at Alvin Ailey in NYC. This was a lyrical class, and it was incredible watching the girls break out of their shells and move in ways they’ve never moved before!


Aaah… The Down Time

After a full day of sightseeing and dance classes, some of our favorite memories were made just relaxing… or splashing around! 😉

down time

Friends for Life

One of the absolute best parts of going on a SHE SHINES ON Dance Tour are the lifelong friendships made on the trip. These girls are now friends for life, sharing special memories that only other fellow Starvistas will ever understand. Our dancers walk away from our tours having built a stronger network of friends that’ll support each other forever!


Moments of Inspiration

While on tour, our dancers get to attend inspiring seminars that shape them into the kinds of people our world needs. We love watching our dancers finish our tours feeling more confident, bright and more empowered than ever!


Our Big Rebrand

We can’t forget one of the biggest changes we made this year… our rebrand! As formally World Class Dance Tours, we changed our name to SHE SHINES ON. The reason for this was we wanted to bring our mission to the forefront of everything we do – to inspire girls’ confidence through dance tours. We are happy to report that we have successfully achieved this mission this year and will continue to work hard to ensure we keep doing so for many years to come!


07 Jan

How to Reach Your Dance Dreams in 2019

It’s a new year, and this is the year that you’re finally going to make your dance dreams a reality! But, where do you even begin? What are your goals? Keep reading for some ways to help reach your goals like NOW!

Write Down Your Goals

Writing down your dance goals is your first step in achieving your dance dreams this year. Grab a pen and notebook, and find a quiet place where you can focus. Write down exactly what you want to achieve in your dance life. Focus on your main priorities and don’t be afraid to dream big! You might have a more focused dream like “increase my flexibility” or you might have a bigger dream like “move to NYC to pursue a career in dance”. Whatever you choose to write, be sure to post it somewhere you can see it- on a vision board or on post-it note on your bathroom mirror.

Be Flexible

We aren’t talking right, left and centre splits here! It’s all about being flexible in knowing that your dance journey may not always go to plan. So, be ready to roll with the punches and go with the flow. Adapt to changes and learn from mistakes. By staying flexible and keeping an open mind, you take away some of the pressure.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Celebrating what you’ve achieved is a must. If you’re achieved something on your list, don’t just cross it off. Do something fun – you’ve earned it! Treat yourself to a nice dinner or do a silly happy dance! 🙂 Don’t stop there… Use your accomplishment as a boost of confidence to keep crossing off more goals!

Never Give Up

“If at first you don’t succeed, try try try again!”

Quitting shouldn’t even be in your vocabulary. You are strong, confident and the world is YOURS! Don’t sweat any failed attempts. Instead, turn them into fuel to motivate you to crush your goal the second time around! It may feel like a long road ahead, but trust me when you get there you’ll look back and be so proud of yourself!

So… Get up, chin up, and start working on your dance goals NOW! You’ve got this!

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.

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