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Stand Up Stand Out


Auckland’s premier secondary school music and dance competition, Stand up Stand Out, welcomed a whole lot of fire, passion, vibrancy, elegance and power to the stage on Wednesday. It was Day 1 of the dance heats and three dance groups from Sancta Maria College got the chance to step out and share their talents and culture, competing alongside nine other Auckland schools.

Held at OMAC (The Otara Music Arts Centre) the three groups consisted of a senior boys’ hip hop crew, a girls’ hip hop crew and a Samoan group. As the students got ready backstage, dressed in radiant Hawaiian shirts, cool red street clothes and traditional Samoan dresses, the nerves definitely began to kick in. But through breathing in and out and with words of encouragement from their peers, when it was time to go and grace the stage, the students gathered themselves and performed the only way they knew how – with pride and spirit.

One of the two dance judges at the event, Joash Fahitua, told the competitors to “forget about the outcome, just get up on that stage, live in the moment and make it yours.”

It was an incredible experience for all the students and only a taste of the extraordinary dancing flair and prowess evident in many of our young people, from contemporary, to hip-hop, to folk dance.

After each group took the stage, they were able to get some feedback from the judges who congratulated and acknowledged them for giving the audience a great show.

One of the judges said that the Sancta Maria boys hip hop crew had a performance “that was something he will always remember.” It was quite a compliment coming from Antonio Bukhar, a professional performing artist from Uganda. It spoke volumes for the amount of hard work put into the performances by the boys and Sancta Maria’s other dance groups.

The students also got some feedback on what they could improve on going into the future and how they can reach their ultimate peak. “Once you’re good, you wanna be great, and then when you’re great you want to be a god” was one of the pieces of advice from judge, Joash Fahitua.

As the students waited for the results to come in, they reflected on what was a day full of music, entertainment and awesome vibes. Events like these wouldn’t be successful without the help from the teachers who organized and drove the students to OMAC and back. So a big thank you to Mr Gibbs, Mrs Edward, Ms Kevern and Mrs Hutchings.

Shontelle Matano