Photo credit – MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ
A Craighead Diocesan School student’s speech on “speaking out” inspired a dance to be performed at the Canterbury regional Stage Challenge 2017.
Students from Craighead Diocesan and Waimate High School will represent South Canterbury when they compete on Thursday night at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch.
Craighead Diocesan student and choreographer Alexis Townshend, 17, said her group’s dance was inspired by a speech delivered by fellow student Hayleigh Muir, 17.
Muir delivered her speech, encouraging students to speak out “for other people and yourself, and not being a bystander”, last year.
Townshend said Muir was initially unsure the speech would translate well to the stage but had liked what it had become. For her part, Muir will introduce the school on the night.
Student Kate Low, 17, said Muir’s speech resonated with a lot of the school.
“It was kind of just everyday things that happen with all of us that we kind of overlook,” Low said.
“We’ve used some of her speech as a voice recording which will play while we’re performing,” Low said.
The school tried to take part each year in the competition, and it was open to everyone to take part in, not just dancers, Townshend said.
“It gives lots of girls who don’t dance a chance to have a go.”
Craighead Diocesan School teacher Alastair Townshend said Muir’s speech encouraged the students to speak out if they saw someone being hassled on a bus, or to stand up for themselves if they were being given a hard time.
Waimate High School art teacher Rosalind Getty said “staying true to yourself” was the theme for its dance.
“The story is told through the lens of a jungle story, a boy raised in the jungle being forced to become a human school child again.”
The school took part in the competition every two years, Getty said.
“I think it’s a really good experience for them to go away for the day and see what other schools are doing.”
The school picked its theme at the start of the year, and began working on it half way through term 1.
“I’m just super proud of them the amount of effort they’ve all put in.”
Waimate High School student Dallas Thomson, 16, was a tiger in the production.
“It’s more like don’t just confirm to what everyone wants you to do … be you and don’t stop being you,” Thomson said.
“Being different and being ‘out there’ isn’t a bad thing.”
Twenty-eight schools from Canterbury will take part in the May 18-19 competition.
Regional winners compete at a national level later this year.