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WCDT

Chantell Turner – You will have the most amazing fun-packed experience!

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World Class Dance Tours Los Angeles Experience

If you are looking for a holiday relaxing by the sea, curled up with a book and a leisurely snooze then book that holiday as this experience won’t be the one for you.

If you are a person who is interested in learning about yourself, meet like minded people, have oodles of fun, dance, shop, play, get caught up in the celebrity hype, fall into bed exhausted at night and get up in the morning excited with the new events for the day; then this experience is definitely the one for you!

In my life I have been to Los Angeles 5 times, Disneyland for 6 and what I can tell you is that I have been so fortunate and privileged to experience LA twice with Kim on the WCDT experience.

It is the way to experience LA.

My first 3 times in LA I hated Hollywood Boulevard- busy, stinking hot, in the middle of the day, people everywhere, jostling to see the stars on the sidewalk- in fact the worst half hour I spent there every time.

Hollywood Blvd is not just that; it is so much more! It’s worth more than a mere half hour.

As we stayed in Magic Castle Hotel the Blvd was only a block away. Our hotel which was a little calm bright yellow oasis for us to retreat to; but more on that later. Many a great memory has been created at the Magic Castle Hotel.

The Blvd is so lovely and quiet first thing in the morning as I meandered down for my morning coffee- my triple shot wet cappuccino as near as I could get to my flat white back home. Then walking leisurely along to see the stars, look at the handprints at the Chinese theatre. To return later in the day to see the hustlers, characters, red carpet movie openings and getting caught up in the excitement of being there. Lights, camera, action, glitz and glamour!

The first accommodation stop Magic Castle Hotel is in my opinion one of the best family experiences that is a jewel in Kim’s crown. The hotel was clean, the staff amazing, the pool facilities and all the extras for the kids just made for the best experience. The intimate atmosphere allowed our young people to bond as they spent a lot of leisure time together enjoying the facilities and each other- they got to learn and grow together.

Of course they were there to dance. All the amazing studios; the energy, the determination and the promise of “what if” gave them such opportunities which they just would have difficulty to experience at home.

All the fun activities that LA had in store for them- Kim designed the tour in such a way that we got to experience the best and still have leisure time available to explore on our own as well.

I took off with one of the other chaperones one day and we hiked to the back of the Hollywood sign- that was a “once in a life time experience” and one I will never forget.

As a mother and chaperone on both tours I got to immerse with young and dynamic people and experience everything with their eyes. The overwhelming pride and tears seeing them perform on Hollywood Blvd and on stage at Disneyland- this is one for a lifetime memory.

Our young people are so talented and watching them to explore this is a privilege. To have the opportunity to participate in Disney Workshop is fantastic, seeing your child dance on stage is one experience that words would be difficult to describe- even the toughest dad would find it difficult to hold back tears!

The whole WCDT experience which was supported by Performance.net taught our young people discipline, determination, self governing, budgeting and lots and lots of fun.

My daughters and my charges were encouraged to arrange their own meals, manage their own financial budget, and self govern in regards to their health and well being, while I stood on the sidelines quite prepared to encourage and intervene if necessary. There is nothing like being on holiday with your own money and deciding what shopping item is really an essential. My daughters loved the shopping and became really proficient at decision making. Their self confidence grew from day to day and it was fabulous to witness.

World Class Dance Tours are well organised and the schedules set out were designed to maximise all the great things LA had on offer. No participants were lost or harmed throughout the tour; minor dancing injuries aside the potential for burnout from exhaustion and fun would be the biggest casualty and as there were chaperones and experienced facilitators on hand, loving hugs; empathy and encouragement for healthy sleep was the most that was required.

My girls thoroughly loved the experience; they learnt so much. The tour caters for all dancing levels so even if you’re a beginner you will soon be dancing like it has been a part of your life for years.

If as a parent you are pondering the discipline and expense for your family to have this experience; my advice would be to not let that hold you back. Just sign the papers and do it. From a financial aspect going back the second time so my youngest could have the experience was a challenge but the reward far exceeded the stress and determination to get there.

You will have the most amazing fun-packed experience; so much so that you will come home filled with pride, enthusiasm and wonder why you ever contemplated not going!

 

The sun shines every day! You get to be a child at Disney! You get to be a fan in Hollywood! You get to travel and be outside your comfort zone.

Do it!

In fact….where do I sign……

Chantall Turner, Chaperone

Pform.nz, April 2017

Jackie Melvin – It was definitely a trip of a lifetime

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Hi my is Jackie and my daughter is Hannah, we were part of the WCDT April 2017 Open Tour to LA.   That meant we were part of a group of dancers and chaperones from other parts of NZ.  We are from Taupo, the others were from Palmerston North, Wellington and Auckland. We had 19 dancers and 7 chaperones in our group.

We were accompanied by Brooke Parsons our mentor choreographer and dance teacher from Palmerston North. We felt very special being part of an open tour, our girls had to learn their dance routines via dropbox, they were responsible for organising the practices and learning the routines themselves. Then Brooke touched based with each group individually in our towns before the tour to run through the routines for Hollywood Boulevard and Disneyland.

We all met for the first time at Auckland airport and got to hang out together and travel on the same flight to LA. Once we got to LA we were met by our gorgeous and friendly tour managers from WCDT, we had the awesome Danielle who made us feel so welcome and looked after us for the rest of our time in LA. The other dance groups had their own tour managers, but all tour managers were there for anyone in the groups who needed advice, ideas, or just to have a laugh.

I was so impressed with the organisation of the whole tour, every evening we received a tour sheet about our next day activities, details, times etc… everything was run so smoothly you always knew what was ahead and could prepare yourself.

For me as a mum and chaperone one of my favourite things from the tour was seeing my daughter dance, sounds like a cliché but it’s true, she loved being at the dance studios with professional choreographers running the workshops. The first day we walked to IDA dance studio and walked up the stairs it was exciting. The girls were so excited about the unknown and what was expected of them. All their expectations were met and more, they loved the classes and the characters who took them. Hannah’s favourite was the twerking class with Cedric, he was so energetic and inspiring not to mention funny. The girls didn’t want his class to end.

Visiting the three dance studios was such a privilege and the girls gave the classes 100%.   They also had the opportunities during these times to practice for their performances on Hollywood Boulevard and at Disneyland, I loved these first few days as it was the first time our open tour had danced together as one group and our girls got on like a house on fire, and Brooke was so professional and patient putting it all together.

My highlight was watching our girls dance on Hollywood Boulevard, they shone dancing outside Madame Tussauds,  in front of the boulevard crowds it was thrilling.   Then to have the opportunity to dance on a Disneyland Stage was awesome. Our girls looked amazing and danced with such pride being from New Zealand and dancing in front of people from all over the world, it made me very emotional being a part of it. Our open tour girls were so professional they danced together like a real team they made us all feel very extremely proud.

Hannah and I also really loved staying at the Magic Castle, not just because of all the free treats, but the location. It was great walking one block down and you were on Hollywood Boulevard, I was so impressed with our girls, they took the whole place in their stride. They loved being in amongst the hustle and bustle that is Hollywood Boulevard. It all added to their LA experience, and what is was like away from their lives in NZ.

The tour was non- stop, dancing, shopping, surprises, laughing, crying, walking, running, travelling, site seeing, Disneyland, Universal studios, everything you wanted it to me and more.  If I was to give any advice it would be to make sure your dancers eat well, drink loads of water, and manage to get some rest if you can get them to keep still long enough.

Every evening I listened to my daughter and her new dance family talk constantly about their day and what they thought about it, and what they were looking forward to the next day etc… not once did I hear a negative conversation. They were thrilled with their dance experiences at the studios, or couldn’t wait for their up and coming performances. The shopping was amazing, or about the characters they had met that day. The whole tour was full of anticipation for the next days of adventure, for us all.

I was so impressed with Kim and her amazing team, none of us knew what to expect really, we had the itinerary etc. to go by, but It was always above and beyond our expectations. This made all those long days fundraising and extra dance classes, etc before the tour worth it.

My daughter Hannah couldn’t get enough of her WCDT experience, she loved every single minute of it. I saw her change in LA, she saw a small glimpse of what other opportunities there are in the dance world. It showed Hannah how hard you have to work, and how dedicated, positive, determined you have to be to be a part of this world.

I was impressed with WCDT and how they showed our girls what they would need to be a part of the dance world overseas. The workshops, seminars, performance opportunities, interviews all an insight into what it would be like. It hasn’t put my daughter off, if anything it has made her more determined to work harder and to strive for her dreams. Hannah is only 14 years old but this tour has made her want to plan ahead and work for her dreams, it was a massive eye opener for her at this age.

She has talked non- stop about her trip since she has been home to anyone and everyone who will listen, she wants to go back asap and her dreams are just that little bit stronger now. I can’t thank Kim Davey and her amazing team enough, for making these opportunities available for our children.   It was definitely a trip of a lifetime. I have also made friends for life from it, and was thrilled to be able to be a part of the tour and to be there with my daughter.

Jackie Melvin, Chaperone

NZ Open Team, April 2017

Allegra Canton – It is a memory I will cherish forever

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I went on the 2017 World Class Dance Tour to LA and what an experience it was! It was such an action packed two weeks with the perfect balance of work and play.

As a slightly older member at the tour at the ripe old age of 22 I was worried that I wouldn’t get as much out of the tour as some of the younger members, I was pleasantly mistaken. All the tutor classes were streamed into junior, intermediate and senior, meaning we were all challenged at our respective levels. We also got the opportunity to take open classes at amazing studios such as The Edge, IDA and Millennium Dance. These classes were open to the public and were a great eye opener to how high the standard of dance is in LA. I can speak for most of the members on the tour when I say we all walked out of those classes feeling exhausted but inspired by the talent of the choreographers and the LA dancers.

One of my favorite parts of the tour was our experience at Anaheim Disneyland. We spend three jammed packed days at the park performing, taking a workshop and enjoying the magic of Disney. Our tour was lucky enough to perform on the beautiful Fantasyland stage opening out onto an outdoor auditorium. It was such a thrill to get to perform up on that stage in front of all the park guests and it is a memory I will cherish forever. The next day we had the Disney workshop with the amazing Joshua Horner. This was the perfect insight into the audition process of Disney and how to become a cast member. I took so much knowledge away from that workshop and am so grateful for the opportunity to attend. It was also a heap of fun to get to enjoy our free time in the Disney Park and the California Adventure Park- Space mountain was freaking insane, my favorite ride by far!

The organisation of the tour was amazing! Everything was planned out for us so we could focus on working hard in the dance classes and enjoying our trip. It was so nice to come back to the hotel after a long day of dancing and have an itinerary sitting there telling us exactly what the next day had in store. Kim and the tour managers were so lovely and welcoming it was such an enjoyable experience. I am now holding out for the 18 years and older trip! Can’t Wait!!

Allegra Canton, Dancer

Chilton Dance Centre – April 2017

 

 

Nicole Downey – I am so amazed and inspired with the experience that I have had on this tour

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My name is Nicole Downey and I got to go on the amazing 2017 LA tour. It was the best experience of my life – I am so amazed and inspired with the experience that I have had on this tour. I achieved some goals and got to go to many places that I couldn’t have imagined ever going! The people I went on the tour with have ended up being my best friends for life because of how much of a great bond we have made together.

I have learnt so much from being on this tour and have built up more confidence for things that I want to do in the future! One of the best things that I will never forget was getting the opportunity to go to the live taping of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and watch them perform. We even got to go on the Dancing with the Stars stage and be on live TV! That same day I got to meet some of my favorite celebrities backstage before going on, my mind was blown!!!!! I couldn’t believe it.

We did a lot of stuff such as going to Disneyland and Universal Studios in Hollywood, even touring celebrities’ houses! We got to take super fun dance classes at Millennium, IDA and much more, plus the dance teachers were extremely funny and nice and always made sure that everyone was smiling and having fun!

When we first arrived in America we got to meet our Tour Managers from World Class Dance Tours for 2017, they were amazing. They were always with you to show you through the way, they were people that you could talk too, have fun with and they were there 24/7 if you needed anything, they really made the tour experience that I will never forget and we couldn’t have done this without them.

On the tour we got to perform at Disneyland’s Fantasyland stage! That was UNBELIEVABLE my dream has been to always go to Disneyland and then when I find out that I was actually going to perform at Disneyland I went CRAZY!! I was so excited and the whole time I was on the Disneyland stage I felt like I was on top of the world I loved every second of it

I had the absolute best time in America it has been so amazing and I would definitely love to do it again!! The amount of things that I have learnt and have been inspired to do is crazy and I have definitely found out who I want to become in the future. This tour has definitely changed my life and I don’t regret anything that we did. I am already saving up every single dollar I have in my bank account so I can go back in a few year’s time. This has been such a cool breath taking experience for me and others and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking about going on this tour! I loved it and hope to go again in the future!

Nicole Downey, Dancer

April 2017

Jo Davies – I loved the chance to go away with my daughter, just focussing on her passions and dreams

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“Mum can we pleeeeease go to the meeting?” way back in April last year my daughter Grace asked me. “It’s about a really cool dance tour to L.A.”

Sigh. Hopefully the meeting will be a drag, Grace will be bored, and that will be the end of that I thought, as off we trotted to the meeting at our local dance studio one cold, bleak, mid-week night.

Well, the bleakness evaporated as quickly as a fairy godmother can turn a pumpkin into a glittering carriage when Kim Davey appeared like a vision in front of us. I kept looking to see if there were Disney birds following in her wake.

She had us all absolutely entranced. Enthusiastic, articulate, beautiful, radiant, gentle, organised, sincere, intelligent, genuine… this woman glows with a passion that only living one’s life purpose can give.  Kim told us about her dream to provide young kiwi teenagers with the opportunity to experience the performing arts outside of NZ. An opportunity that she never had (as a young girl with an absolute passion for performing). Her dream turned into a business, law was subsequently ditched, and before long ‘World Class Dance Tours’ was up and running and young teenagers interested in the performing arts now get to experience the trip of a lifetime.

Grace and I signed up immediately after that meeting. My thought was: here is an incredible female role model that I (without a doubt) want Grace to have in her life.

What impressed me was how everything that Kim outlined in that first meeting was exactly how it was.  Actually it may have even been better.  She promised and delivered, massively.

I loved and was hugely grateful for the attention to detail, the efficiency, the low (actually No) stress, but most of all the FUN! Kim knows teenagers AND parents so she nails the fun for the teens and the superb organisation for the parents. Actually the parents enjoyed the fun too 🙂

The experience the students gain is outstanding, opportunities to learn with top of their game choreographers very few would ever get a chance to learn from, dancing “stages” to perform on like Disneyland (!!) and Hollywood Boulevard (!!) and even the U.S. television programme Dancing With the Stars (!!!!!) Does it get any more fabulous? I have never seen a group of young teenage girls so excited, so happy, so optimistic, forming such close friendships, developing incredible skills, and having an amazing holiday at the same time.

I also loved the chance to go away with my daughter, just focussing on her passions and dreams. Magical. It’s not an opportunity that presents itself often, for that length of time. I loved being a witness to her literally maturing in front of my eyes. Seeing her blossom in the workshops, gain confidence, work hard, I loved listening to her talk about some long term goals she now had, and see her utter contentment at being amongst “her tribe”. I loved seeing her be herself.

I also really enjoyed being a chaperone! I decided while at Universal studios (Oh did I mention that? Amongst all the dancing we also got to play at theme parks…) Anyway, 13-17 year old teenage girls are perfect theme park companions. Still with the excitement of a young child but with the maturity of an adult, it was just constant joy, fun, and laughter, but if they disappeared it was not a drama. Also they can manage their own food, hydration, sun block, and go on the really scary rides by themselves. It’s excellent.

I need to mention the tour guides, as they were another highlight for me. Kim has a little team working with her and the 3 tour guides on our trip I now consider good friends.  Passionate about what they do, they share the same interests and skills as the teenagers, so the bonding was instant. Again they quickly became role models for our daughters and had such a refreshing freshness and optimism about them that I came away from the trip feeling as though the world is an exciting place for our kids to be becoming adults in. I think that was the biggest gift for me, when the world can feel a bit bleak and the outlook seem a bit grim, World Class Dance Tours shows you that this is definitely not the case.

The world is full of, and bursting with opportunities, fun and adventure.

Live one’s dream.

It’s what we are put on the planet to do.

And be kind to one another.

This was the gift World Class Dance Tours gave Grace and I.

(PS We loved the trip so much, we have just signed up for the New York one next year!)

Jo Davies, Chaperone

NZ Open Team, April 2017

Kate Reid – This trip really was the trip of a lifetime

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I remember seeing the note from Performance Net over a year ago, to come and meet the wonderful Kim Davey and find out about World Class Dance Tours and a trip of a lifetime.  Kim addressed a school hall full of mums, dads and children wannabes with a captivating presence and infectious passion for taking what you love (dance) and turning that into a career.  Mia my daughter who was 12 years old at the time left this session in complete awe of Kim and pleading with me to let her and her sister (Ella age 10 yrs) go on this tour.  Mia could not stop speaking about it for days ‘Mummy, dancing is all I’ve ever wanted to do, I want this more than anything, I’ll do chores!’.

So, mum and dad caved and we decided to take the plunge, start saving and sign up.  We also decided to take my Mum – Marnie (Age 72 years) and let granny be part of the girls on tour!

To be honest, I initially thought it was going to be a bit over organised, like going on a tour group where you don’t have any flexibility to do your own thing and I was worried that for the investment, we could have put that towards a family trip.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This trip really was the trip of a lifetime.  Kim and Tiffany our guides (and now friends) were absolutely amazing.  No stone was left unturned and each day was more amazing than the first.   They completely exceeded our expectations – from dancing workshops (Latin, Twerking, Hip Hop, Jazz Funk), to performing on Hollywood Boulevard, to being in a live televised performance of Dancing with the Stars to dancing on the stage at Disneyland – it just kept getting better.  I would recommend the trip to anyone who has boys or girls who love to dance.  The workshops with professional dancers were so professional, exposing the kids to performance and dance that ‘gets under your skin’.  Each session was high energy and the teaching was amazing.  The children were kept busy every day, but seemed to have endless energy despite full days of dancing – easy to do when you love what you are doing with inspiring teachers.

From a personal point of view, it was such a fantastic experience to be able to take my Mum on tour as a family member. Kim and Tiff looked after her so well and included her in everything.  She felt very special and thoroughly enjoyed being part of this amazing experience with her granddaughters.  For her it was a trip of a lifetime and she is already trying to persuade her Mahjong group to sign up for the over 40’s trip to Rio!

Thank you Kim and Tiffany for making our time with you so rewarding, for all the organising that went in behind the scenes to make our trip seem hassle-free.  Tiffany you have an amazingly positive spirit and you were such an inspiration to our girls, we miss you a lot.

Mia and Ella have built amazing friendships with everyone who went on tour, friendships to treasure and nurture for a lifetime.  I’m sure we will all be planning our next tour so we can build on our first one.  Thanks to Clare our amazing dance teacher at Performance Net for investing so much of yourself in coaching our children to be the best they could be.  Thanks to Tracey & Mike Stretton for an incredible performance school that has exposed Mia and Ella to a wonderful family and incredible experiences – thanks for taking the risk to sign Performance Net up to the L.A. Dance Tour.

Kate Reid, Chaperone

Pform.nz, April 2017

Abby Hewitt – Incredible, Inspiring and soo much FUN!!

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If I could describe this tour in three words, I would choose incredible, inspiring and so much FUN! I recently went on the Los Angeles 2017 tour and I can safely say it was the best trip and experience of my life! The things I learned and gained from being a part of it will stay with me my whole life, it was so so eye opening and such great exposure to the professional dance world.

The opportunities on tour were unbelievable! I loved that we got to attend so many classes, workshops and personal development sessions with such incredible, professional and inspiring people. I had so much fun taking classes, sightseeing, going to the theme parks, and lots (and lots) of shopping! We danced at amazing studios that, before the tour I had dreamed of dancing at, like IDA, Edge Performing Arts Centre and Millennium! I also absolutely looooved all the shopping! And I loved going to the theme parks like Universal Studios and Disneyland, and doing the must-do’s in LA like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood Boulevard and the Abby Lee Dance Company was all pretty amazing. Not to mention going to a live taping of Dancing with the Stars, and actually getting to be in it! The level of dance over there is so intense and it was so much fun to be a part of it. It was also crazy to come home and see TV shows/ads, movies, celebrity posts from LA and be able to say “I’ve been there!”!

The WCDT team is absolutely amazing. Everything was so organised and thought-out! I always felt prepared for every day because they did such a great job at keeping us informed of everything we were doing. There was something planned for us every day which I loved. The tour managers are so lovely and positive and such awesome people. I had heaps of fun getting to know them and sharing some pretty funny stories with them. They were always so helpful in answering and sorts of questions we had and I learnt so much about LA life from them!

I am so grateful for the people I met and what they taught me. I met my best friends while training for this tour, and became so much closer with them on the tour. I love that WCDT was what allowed me to do so! The dance teachers and instructors we worked with were so inspiring and we learned crazy amazing things from them. Everything from the life lessons to the choreography to the way of thinking in LA is so fresh and new and unlike anything else. I had so much fun getting to talk to people that live in LA like waiters at restaurants and shop keepers on the boulevard! They were always so fascinated by us Kiwis and we had some really interesting conversations with them.

As someone who wants a career in the performing arts, everything I gained from this tour was so valuable and is the best possible way to dive right in to the professional dance world and the opportunities it has to offer. We worked with people that are/were working professional dancers in the industry. Another pretty awesome thing about this tour was coming home and looking at viral dance videos and videos that my favourite dancers/choreographers have posted, and realising that they were filmed in the very studios that we danced in!


I learned the most about dance, motivation and myself in those 12 days than I ever could have imagined. You get exposed to so many new ways of thinking about your dancing, your career paths and mostly your life! This tour has taught me to always put in 100% of myself into anything I do and never hold back, because “how you do anything is how you do everything”. I learned about how important it is to set goals for yourself and to believe in them. Since doing the tour, everything I learned has made me work so much harder and think so much more productively and feel so much more motivated! This is so much more than just a dance tour. I came home from the trip and applied everything I learned to everything I do and I can feel so much improvement.

It really will change your life! I came home feeling, and still feel so inspired and I’m buzzing with everything I learned. You meet so many inspiring people and learn so so many things and the experiences and memories will truly last you your life. I can’t thank WCDT enough for giving me the experience and opportunity they did. I will always always remember everything about this tour and continue to apply it to everythingI do. It is absolutely worth doing, I 100000% recommend it and can guarantee it will change your life as much as it changed mine.

Abby Hewitt, Dancer

Pform.nz, April 2017

Bryce Campbell – It will be life changing!

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Hi all, I’m Bryce Campbell from Tauranga, NZ…

Early in 2014 my daughter Isla Campbell came home excited about the prospect of the performing arts classes of Otumoetai College touring to LA in 2015. So who’s this World Class Dance Tours I say? Lots of questions and anyway a few weeks later a very excited lady called Kim gave us an AMAZING presentation. Yes the word amazing has come up lots, before during and after this trip. Chaperones where also required and to cut a long story short I joined in and in July 2015 off we went! I was excited about the tourist attractions but as I learnt, this trip was soooo much more than that!

As a parent you can have your doubts about these things but I can honestly say this experience was worth it’s weight in gold for us all. Kim packs sooooo much in it’s quite amazing. We were all worn out and slept well on the flight home, something I usually find difficult to do.

As Isla has written she since been back to LA and studied for three months at one of the studios you get to dance at on tour (IDA). I am very proud of her development along with the on going support Kim offers. The even bumped into each other in LA!!!

In short, this tour is quite possibly one of the best things your teenager will ever get the opportunity to do. It will be life changing an is an excellent investment in their future.

Love the on going contact and support past tour participants too.

Yes Kim….. it was AMAZING!

Cheers,

Bryce Campbell

Isla Campbell – Sometimes you just need that little reminder that you are good enough

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My name is Isla Campbell, I’m from Tauranga, New Zealand and I went on the LA tour in July 2015. I started dancing from a very young age and there’s nothing in this world that I love more, it is my absolute passion and I’ve known for a very long time that I want to make a career out of it.
When I first heard about the tour I knew I had to go. Dancing at some of the biggest studios in LA such as, IDA, Millennium and The Edge, plus going to Disney Land, Universal Studios and shopping until I drop, I mean what more could a girl want? It seemed like a dream come true. But what we experienced on this wonderful tour was so much more, and the best part? World Class Dance Tours made it a reality.

One of my favourite things about this tour was most definitely all the classes I got to take. screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-33-08-pmBut it wasn’t just about taking part in a lesson, it was about meeting insanely talented dancers and choreographers who got to share their knowledge and their journey with us, how they got to where they are now. Everyone’s journey is so different and it’s so amazing to be able to learn from these people. I really wanted to take in all this information and let it inspire and motivate me to become nothing but the absolute best I can be. I loved every class I took, from ballet to hip hop to burlesque and even twerking! But my favourite class I took was Jazz funk with the incredible Michael Silas, seen in the photo on the right.

Not all of it was what I was used to, I got to explore different styles and was forced to step out of my comfort zone.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-33-22-pmAnother highlight of the tour would have to be dancing on Hollywood boulevard. The fact that I got to dance on Hollywood boulevard itself was amazing but the amount of people that stopped and watched us was even crazier. It was an experience I will never forget. Dancing aside, we can’t forget about the tourist activities! Because this was my first over seas trip it was my first time going to Disney Land, so I was very excited as I’m sure you can imagine. Getting the opportunity to dance on the stage there was pretty special too. It’s true what they say, it really is thescreen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-33-33-pm happiest place on earth. I also loved universal studios and the Warner Bro’s studio tour. The shopping was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed our day at Santa Monica, soaking up the beautiful Cali sun on the beach and exploring the Pier.

We also got to see a musical which was Hairspray, now that really made me want to boogie! I was so into it the whole time I wanted to get up and dance with them and then at the very end of the show I remember the cast picking audience members out to have a groove with them on stage, I was straight up there of course. But my absolute favourite thing about this whole trip was seeing So You Think You Can Dance live. This was the most exciting thing for me because I love this programme so much and I’ve been watching it for years. I never thought I’d get to see it live.

I got a lot out of this tour. It really opened up my eyes and I realised there’s much more to this industry than I originally thought. I love New Zealand and it’s a lovely place but there definitely aren’t opportunities here like there are in LA, it really is the place to be for a career in this industry.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-36-04-pmThe motivational coaching sessions we had were an extremely helpful touch, sometimes you just need that little reminder that you are good enough and you can do anything you set your mind to. Too much positivity definitely never hurt anyone and I loved the constant inspiration and motivation.

Since doing this tour I have been back to LA and studied full time at IDA in the Certificate Program. I just loved it so much the first time I couldn’t wait to get back over there, so I moved to the other side of the world for three months to live my dream. I met some incredible people and made life long connections that I screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-36-16-pmcherish very much. I improved and grew so much and not only as a dancer but as a person. I hope to go back as soon as possible and maybe one day even get a working visa.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to do this tour, it is definitely worth doing and I’m so beyond happy to have experienced it.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-36-25-pmThank you to Kim for giving me and many other young dancers such an amazing opportunity and unforgettable experience. And thank you for the constant love and support even two years after doing the tour.

Isla Campbell

Kristi Dahm – I came home more determined than ever ….

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I was lucky enough to be accepted onto two World Class Dance Tour’s, and experience the dance industry in Sydney, Australia in 2013, and Los Angeles, United States in 2014.

What attracted me to this company was the vast range of dance opportunities which were offeredscreen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-00-pm on each tour. There were opportunities to experience dance classes from world class choreographers, at many different well known studios. In Sydney these included Urban Dance Centre and Brent Street, and in LA The Edge, Millennium and IDA Hollywood. Not only were multiple classes in a range of different genre scheduled daily, we also had the freedom to choose classes which we wanted to take. Add in plenty of extra time for sightseeing in these incredible places, and we found ourselves a part of an incredible tour. As part of the Sydney tour, you visit places such as the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Bondi Beach, and Taronga Zoo. In Los Angeles, the group accommodation is a meer two-minute walk from the bustling Hollywood Boulevard. Here you get to experience tours around Beverly Hills, Warner Bro’s, visit Universal Studios, the Hollywood sign, and of course, Disneyland, CA.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-50-47-pmI found both tours to be absolutely fantastic, and one of the best opportunities I have ever had. Once on tour, daily schedules were prepared and handed out the evening before, which outlined the plan for the next day (which dance classes we would take, approximate times, what we needed to bring with us etc). I always felt prepared for what was coming next. Kim has a real gift with people which allows her to communicate effectively with many different ages. Her organisation is impeccable, which meant I was always well informed about what was required and expected of us at all times. Her bubbly and outgoing personality made me feel comfortable and relaxed, which resulted in many laughs throughout the tour.

The highlights for me, were taking classes in LA at the Edge Studios and Millennium Dance Complex. I had grown up hearing about these amazing studios where famous singers and actors had trained, so couldn’t wait to experience classes there for myself.

It was everything I had expected and more. At first I struggled to pick up the choreography as their screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-11-pmteachers taught a lot faster than many in New Zealand, however I found myself thriving in the classes and really being challenged. Amongst many dancers from all over the world, I also managed to find myself in the same contemporary class as the lead female dancer in the movie Step Up: Revolution. She is one of my idols so getting to dance in the same class was inspiring. Having the opportunity to dance with someone of her importance and passion was incredible, and something which I will never forget.

As amazing as these classes were, nothing bet having the opportunity to dance at Disneyland, as well as take a workshop with one Disney’s most well-known directors. As part of this workshop we did a few combinations down the room, and then at the end were told who they would hire out of the group if it was a live audition. I found that the director would only take people that made eye contact with him when coming across the floor, which I found very interesting and certainly a tip to remember. As for dancing on the Disneyland stage, it was amazing being able to showcase our talent in front of many Disney personnel, as well as get a taste of what our life could be as a professional dancer working for Disney.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-19-pmWhile on the LA tour, Kim managed to organise a private audition with Princess Cruises for selected members of our tour group who potentially had a future interest in working in the entertainment industry on board ships. She also managed to find the time in our tour for us to go to a live open dance audition which Royal Caribbean Cruises were also holding over the two-week period which we were in America. From taking part in these two auditions, I learnt very quickly how intense and particular the dance world really is. A lot of the time, whether you are offered a professional dance job or not isn’t anything to do with how you dance.

Majority is how you look. What companies are looking for in particular can vary from such as hair colour, eye colour, dress size, height, weight, shoe size. More often than not, the judging panel walks into an audition room already with a pre-conceived idea on exactly what kind of dancer they are looking for. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, you won’t be what they are looking for, and that is the way it goes. I also learnt that when you are in a room with 100 other female dancers who are all wanting the same job, you need to find ways to make yourself stand out from the rest. The most common one being – put yourself out there and stand at the very front, right in the judging panels eye line. This will automatically make them notice you and pay attention, as you are placing yourself close to them.

This is just an example of two audition techniques which I learnt on the LA World Class Dance Tours. Byscreen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-28-pm being in real audition situations, I could watch other dancer’s techniques for standing out, and who was offered professional contracts. This meant that when the time came for me to audition again, I had a head start over others who had never experienced an audition before, and apply these techniques which I learnt on the tour.

On both the Sydney and LA tour, many other seminars were run throughout the two-week period. These included money handling/management, the secret to a positive outlook on life, the importance of nutrition, vision boards, Agency talks, and many guest speakers from people who have been successful in the entertainment industry. These all provided in depth insight into some of the other aspects which go hand in hand with a successful career. I personally, found the money handling seminar interesting as it is known that dancers are never well paid. I now hold some skills which will help me to budget what I earn, as well as knowledge on how it is possible to make a low sum on money into a larger sum. I also loved learning about ‘The Secret’ and how a small change in thinking, can change your life. Through learning about this, I try and apply it to my everyday life.

Overall, both the Sydney and Los Angeles tours helped me in more ways than one. Not only did I learn many different dances from a range of well- known choreographers, I also gained audition tips, knowledge on how to handle money, the secret to a positive lifestyle, what agencies look for when they are hiring people for their books, and how many different opportunities are available for dancers. Mainly, I learnt that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

Before I went on these tours I had a lot of self-doubt. I wasn’t even sure if dance was the right career path for me. Throughout my dance life I was constantly told that I wasn’t good enough, and was always being compared to other dancers. I came home feeling fresh, inspired and more determined than ever to make dance into a professional career.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-5-53-37-pmI am now currently three months into my second cruise ship contract as a production dancer, working for Costa Cruises. Working on ships is proving to be everything I thought it would be and more. Being able to do what I love in front of thousands of people every night, while travelling around Italy, France and Spain for 7 months at a time is amazing. I hope to continue working on ships for a year or two more, so that I can discover even more places in the world.

I have a lot to thank World Class Dance Tours for. Although I gained both of my cruise contracts through video audition, every live audition which I have done, I feel a lot more comfortable with since participating in these tours. Being inspired by other dancers and experiencing some of the opportunities available to dancers re-ignited my passion.

These tours created some of the best memories I have ever had, which I will carry with me. Not only do you get to travel and dance in some amazing places for two weeks, you also make friends which so many others who have the same dreams. I would recommend World Class Dance Tours in a heartbeat, as a tour that will change lives. I am very fortunate for the opportunity in which Kim gave me. She is an incredible woman to work with and this is not an opportunity you would want to miss.

– Kristi Dahm, Dancer