Spotlight on Masterclass Dance Studios
By Leah Maclean
For over 20 years, sisters Rebekah and Vynessa Smith, hailing from the Wairarapa, have been dancing. Having trained in genres across the board including ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap and contemporary, been selected to dance with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and become registered teachers with New Zealand Modern Dance, the Smith sisters have taken their talents and expertise to New Plymouth and opened their own dance school.
Masterclass Dance Studios, located in the heart of New Plymouth, is aimed at 3–18 year olds. However, if you fall above the 18 category you need not be discouraged, as Rebekah and Vynessa also provide classes for adults. Like their careers, their studio has an eclectic range of opportunities from hip hop to ballet, jazz to contemporary to general fitness and stretching classes.
The school, which opened in February, was a bold move for the sisters but their passion for dance has no boundaries. Also both having graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration in accounting and commercial law has been very handy. This new business endeavour has a lot of exciting prospects for the duo; they admit to looking forward to putting their first lot of students through exams, but most of all “meeting new students, teaching them, and learning/watching as we grow”.
Masterclass Dance Studios is only one of their projects this year. Rebekah and Vynessa are participating in DANZ’s For the Love of Dance in Aotearoa digital dance project and Vynessa has just started her Certificate in Ballet Teaching to become a registered RAD Ballet Teacher.
Why did you join DANZ?
We know Linda (DANZ Communications Manager) from way back, and got in touch with her when we decided that we were starting our own school. We know from our friend Libby Calder (Pump Dance) that DANZ provides a lot of support to people in the dance community and we know that we will really benefit from this.
What has DANZ done for you/What would you like DANZ to do?
DANZ has provided us with a profile on their website, which is good for people who want to know more about our school. They also keep us updated on information relevant to the dance world. They have provided us with support and opportunities for our students to get involved in. We would just love them to keep doing what they’re doing!