“These kids can dance. They move with
energy... and their joy is infectious. They look
like they know they were born to dance.
It’s written all over their faces.”

News and Updates

Allie & Rebecca's US Adventure

Hosting the World Cup in New Zealand presented Allie and Rebecca a unique opportunity to participate in some much sought after and incredibly valuable professional development opportunities abroad. The change in the school holiday dates meant that the annual American Dance Therapy Association Conference (ADTA) fell during our October school holidays.

First stop was to New York City for a healthy dose of sightseeing and Broadway experiences. After arriving in the early hours of the morning and checking into the charming Leo House in Chelsea, we fed ourselves a very unhealthy cheeseburger at a very unhealthy hour of the morning. Allowing ourselves a little time to sleep in, we were finally ready to explore the city. We wandered uptown and frequented many well know shopping establishments until we came across Times Square and took countless photos of ourselves around all the famous landmarks.

Over the next couple of days we toured many famous New York City landmarks, and saw two fabulous Broadway shows. We quickly became professional Subway commuters and really did marvel at the efficiency of adequate public transport! We headed down to the World Trade Centre Memorial, up the Empire State Building, over to the Statue of Liberty and strolled through Central Park.

The highlights though of the tourist attractions were definitely those that were related to dance. Radio City Music Hall was stunning, the stage was enormous and we were even lucky enough to have our photo taken with a Rockette! Tap classes at Steps on Broadway (which really was like something out of Fame!) and contemporary classes at Mark Morris were well worth giving up sightseeing hours. The Lion King was spectacular but we both agreed that Mary Poppins was incredible. There is really no other way to describe it other than magical and it is most definitely a must see.

It wasn’t all a pleasure trip though. We were there for some serious business and our first port of call was the Mark Morris Dance Centre for the Dance for PD (Parkinson’s Disease) course. This training has long been a wish of Allie’s to complete and to our great fortune, timing was again on our side.

A weekend course with David Levanthal and Misty Owens from Dance for PD enabled us to develop some more insight and gain valuable resources to begin a Parkinson’s Dance programme. It also reaffirmed our philosophies of practice. Watch this space as we begin developing this exciting programme.

After a successful nine days of New York the final passage of our trip saw us flying to Minneapolis for the ADTA conference. The Mall of America is the largest shopping mall in America and was a ten minute train ride from the airport. It seemed only fair that we had a peek! We threw our luggage into lockers and shopped for hours. Exhausted and considerably colder we arrived at the Marriott in downtown Minneapolis and checked in to luxury.

The following days at the conference were inspirational. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many other people who share our passion for dancing and understand/appreciate the value of what joy dance can bring. We discovered that our practice here down in New Zealand is aligned with current modern trends across the world. We picked up some more useful skills and learnt some great information on primitive reflexes and early childhood development. Allie was really fortunate to meet up with her good friend Virginia of whom she did her earlier Dance Therapy training with in Canada. One of the most wonderful aspects of the conference was being able to meet Dr Suzi Tortora. Suzi is a dance psychotherapist who has for many years specialised in the field infancy and early childhood mental health development. We have long been referring to her book The Dancing Dialogue as a valuable resource in creating dance programmes that are suited to our clients. Her work with special needs populations is comprehensive and critically supports dance as an excellent medium for expression and verbal/non-verbal communication. The importance and power of non-verbal communication is apparent each time we have the privilege of seeing our wonderful students perform.

Our final night in the States bought with it the news we would be returning home to a country of world champions, which was quite a relief! Although a country in mourning wouldn’t have put a dampener on our incredible American trip.

We would like to thank everyone who supported our trip and helped make it possible. We are both so grateful for the opportunity and perhaps if you notice a Broadway theme throughout the year – now you’ll know why!