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Apprenticeship with the New Zealand Dance Company

Closed Project page created in the Spark My Potential category by Chris Ofanoa

$35,020 of $35,000 goal

Given by 138 generous donors in around 5 months


I’ve been given the opportunity for an apprenticeship at the New Zealand Dance Company - but I need to raise my salary!

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My Journey:

I grew up in Massey with my mum and two younger sisters. I started dancing hip hop as a teen and discovered a love of dance. It turns out I’m pretty good at it and I was accepted into Unitec’s contemporary dance program after I completed high school.

At the moment I’m staying with my nana, aunty and her son in Avondale because it's closer for me to get to Unitec. This year marks my third and final year at Unitec and then I’m out on my own.

I aspire to join The New Zealand Dance Company. I’m attracted to the uniqueness and diversity that exists in the company. The culture, the movement, and the ideas and concepts that go into their works have interested me ever since I first saw them perform Language of Living. The company has such a happy and enthusiastic vibe and creates a positive working environment that I would love to be a part of.

There is a specific movement vocabulary that the company has and I think their amazing ability to create and perform movement that consists of the highest standard of intricacy and intensity intertwined with fluidity and vulnerability is extraordinary. I think with the help and direction of the choreographers and dancers in the company my full potential can be released.

How Does The New Zealand Dance Company Help Me? Here’s what the New Zealand Dance Company said about me and how they can help me:

“We at The New Zealand Dance Company discovered Chris when he seconded with us earlier in the year, understudying our most experienced dancer, Justin Haiu, in our latest production and he blew us away.

Chris has the potential to be one of New Zealand’s brightest stars but we risk losing him to overseas opportunities or even, worse, he will stop dancing to get a regular job to make ends meet. With limited opportunities here at home to stretch their skillsets and earn a wage while doing so, New Zealand’s best artistic talent continue to leave our shores for international work. The New Zealand Dance Company, a non profit organization and a charitable trust, was established in 2012 with the aim of providing full time jobs for New Zealand’s finest dancers. And we want keep Chris and his talent here in New Zealand.

We are a young company and as a non-profit we are constantly seeking support to continue to do what we do and bring amazing artistic ventures to life. Now we are seeking support to make Chris’ dreams come true.

In 2015 we want to offer Chris a full-time apprenticeship . But we need your help to make it happen. Together we need to raise $35,000 to bring Chris into the company as a full time apprentice dancer.”

What Can Happen for Me:

If we can raise this amount, I will have a year’s secured employment (that is 52 weeks of a living wage) to pursue my passion and dance every day – providing the possibility for me to become one of New Zealand’s top talents. It’s not every day a dude from Avondale gets a chance to dance his dream.

It means I will not have to get a job waiting tables or pouring concrete, and I won’t get on an airplane and look further afield for dance work. I will rehearse with The New Zealand Dance Company at their Auckland studios, embarking on a national tour of The New Zealand Dance Company’s ANZAC Centenary work Rotunda – and you can come see me perform on tour!

I will also have the opportunity to tour to Australia with this same production and show off my skills to our Aussie neighbours. Not only that, but I will be able to work with New Zealand’s finest choreographers such as Shona McCullagh, Malia Johnston, Louise Potiki Bryant, as well as International stars of the dance world.

Invest in Me:

By investing in me - Chris Ofanoa - you are investing in New Zealand’s creative economy and future. You are enabling me, a young man, fresh out of training, to shine on the stage and show the world what kind of talent we have here in New Zealand…that a boy from Avondale can dream a dream and it can come true right here in little ol’ NZ. If you all pledge a little, a lot of amazing things could happen for me.

The ball is your court. Throw it high. Pledge for me and make my future come alive. If you can help bring me on board with The New Zealand Dance Company you will be part of my journey too.

You will see Vines and videos of my work in the studio and be a party to my video journal. There will be invited rehearsal showings just for some special donors and you can come see me perform on tour knowing you helped me get on that stage.

If you are one of those special individuals who go for gold to fund me at $1,000 or more,you can come meet me backstage after my performances where I can thank you in person, or I will create a special dance sequence video made just for you, danced by me.

Chris Ofanoa's involvement (page creator)

I am Chris Ofanoa and I want to secure a full time apprenticeship with The New Zealand Dance Company. I need to raise $35,000 to make this happen.

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Latest update

Thank you!  14 January 2015

Posted by: Chris Ofanoa

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported my Spark campaign.

We reached our target so I am now a full time apprentice with The New Zealand Dance Company!

I can't express how grateful I am, but I can show it! I will be performing with The New Zealand Dance Company throughout New Zealand for the Rotunda 2015 Australasian Tour. I hope to see you all there! This weekend I will be doing more sign spinning for NZDC like you see in my video at the Mangawhai Surf Club. Come see me and I'll thank you in person!

Check out the video I made to say thank you and show you what I have been up to this Summer!

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Latest donations

  • Mrs Castle

    Mrs Castle on 04 Jan 2015


    Ka rawe! Go hard Chris! Keep up your awesome motivation to pursue your passion!!


  • Guest Backer

    Guest Backer on 31 Dec 2014



  • Good Luck Chris I hope your dream comes true.

    Good Luck Chris I hope your dream comes true. on 31 Dec 2014



  • Guest Backer

    Guest Backer on 30 Dec 2014



  • Guest Backer

    Guest Backer on 30 Dec 2014



Who's involved?

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Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, Chris Ofanoa

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This page was created on 8 Aug 2014 and closed on 2 Jan 2015.
$35,020 of $35,000 goal

Given by 138 generous donors in around 5 months

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