Young professionals in the role of Big Brothers and Big Sisters teach and share their knowledge with high-school students of Porirua in dance and music
HADLEIGH POUESI is a creative youth development practitioner who uses the arts as a vehicle for yout development. Over his 16 year career as a creative he has excelled in the realm of hop hop / street dance.
In 2008, his crew Sweet & Sour brought back New Zealand's first gold medal from the prestigious HHI World Hip Hop Dance Championships. Since then he has travelled the world as a back up dancer and choreographer.
He now directs the Fresh Movement Arts Trust and Freshmans Dance Crew, these platforms are used to explore new pathways for young creatives beyond the competition space. Over the last eight years Fresh Movement have created a number of full length works, toured the United States of America, Australia and throughout the Pacific, created new events that showcase young talent and has created employment opportunities for over 100 young performers.
Hadleigh's movement style now sits in a fusion space, based in street dance foundations. As well as his hip hop background, Hadleigh pulls from contemporary dance, siva Samoa, kapa haka and physical theatre to create a vocabulary that is unique and engaging.
Aloalii Tapu was born in Otara and the 2016 winner of the prestigious German Der Faust Award in dance returns to Te Ata with Ta'alili, the arts company he co-founded with Tori Manley-Tapu in 2020.
SEIDAH TUAOI is a well-seasoned dancer, freestyler, battler, and choreographer. She is a member of Two and a Half Brownies and Projekt Team who reign as the 2019 HHI minicrew champions in New Zealand. She hails as Twin:Watchmin from the Watch:MIN and Lighthouse Krump fam based in Otara, Auckland. Seidah is a member of the RUR alliance, a global creative collective led by dancer Jaja Vankova. Seidah is trained in secondary education and has taught dance and drama as a subject throughout Auckland, and now in Hastings, teaching at Karima High School.
Seidah’s creative practice looks at Pacific and Street dance movement and how it can be fused in a contemporary context. As part of her Honors studies at the University of Auckland, she travelled to Samoa to conduct interviews on her research of Hip Hop and Samoan dance. This led her to create ‘Like Mike’ for the Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab in 2014. Thus, she created and released the short film ‘Fa’atino’ shown in the 2019 Tempo and Pacific dance festivals.
CHRISTOPHER OFANOA is a young dancer / choreographer who has toured the world and been under the tutelage of some of New Zealand's top movement creatives.
Christopher is a graduate of the Unitec Performing and Screen Arts programme and has toured the world with one of our country's premier dance companies, the New Zealand Dance Company and the physical theatre ensemble, White Face Crew.
Christopher was a finalist on the rolex mentor and protégé arts initiative, which sent him to Israel to train under world renowned choreographer, Ohad Naharin.
As well as being trained and experienced in the realm of contemporary dance, Christopher has his roots planted in the hip hop / street dance community. Once a part of the West Auckland based dance crew, Limit Break, Chris is now one of the directors of the Fresh Movement Arts Trust and Freshmans Dance Crew.
Chris brings a wealth of knowledge to the education space and is a highly sought after tutor for Auckland secondary schools and tertiary institutes. Chris' movement is a blend of contemporary, lyrical and street and explores a range of movement qualities and textures that is challenging and fulfilling.
JOSH 'KOKONUT' MITIKULENA is the original founder and creative director of NZ’s leading Hip Hop and Street Dance All Style Collective, Projekt Team. With over 15 years of street dance experience he has performed, taught and battled nationally and internationally. Some notable achievements include performing in the Boogiezone International Dance Showcase in Los Angeles, World Hip Hop Champs 2007 & 2011 in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, International Youth Dance Festival in Macau, Japan Dance Tour with Triple8Funk Dance Company and he is also the National Swag Fest Battle Champion for 2014. He has won a few awards including a Cultural Blues award in Dance from the University of Auckland and a DANZ Award for Most Innovative Street Dance Choreography. Josh brings a fun and social atmosphere to his classes but also likes to challenge his students in different ways.
JOHN VAIFALE, or more commonly known as ‘Happy Feet’, is a young Samoan born dancer who resides in the suburb of Manurewa. A semi-finalist of New Zealand’s Got Talent (2013), John has been dancing from a very young age. Having taught by his father and later exploring his own style of movement. John is always developing his skill in dance, pushing his boundaries and getting himself involved in NZ’s Bboy, Popping, Locking, Krump and now recently the New Style community, entering and judging battles, and supporting the underground scene. John is also a member of Projekt Team, a collective of dancers from a variety of dance communities.
He is has recently travelled to Phoenix Arizona to compete and represent New Zealand at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships where he and his team placed Top 4 in the World in the Mini Crew Division and Top 8 in the World Hip Hop Battles. He also holds titles in NZ such as the Street Dance New Zealand 2on2 All Style Battles Champion, the Battlzone Champion of 2017-2018, Battlegrounds 1on1 Locking Battle Champion, Street Talks Locking and All Style Champion and much more.
MELE TAEILOA is a New Zealand born Tongan. Mele has been dancing since the age of 5, training in various styles such as Ballet and Jazz, Pacific Contemporary dance and Hip Hop. In 2010 Mele received her Bachelor of Performing Arts (Maj. in Dance), then went on to teachers college where she received her Graduate Diploma in Teaching. She is now Head of Dance and one of four Dance teachers at Manurewa High School. She is a member of 2 dance companies ‘Ura Tabu Pacific Dance and Projekt Team, currently Street Dance New Zealand’s, National Champions. She has represented New Zealand at the International Youth Dance Festival in Macau, the World Hip Hop Dance Championships and World Bboy/Bgirl Battles in Las Vegas and Phoenix, Arizona, aswell as Battlegrounds Supremacy in Australia. Mele is an advocate for Street Dance in New Zealand providing opportunities and events for the community to learn and connect. Events such as Projekt Feel Good, Battle of the Schools, Long Live the Queen and #ProjektLockdown.
KEN VAEGA Since 2011, Ken has been exposed to many different dance experiences, he has competed in Hip Hop International nationally and internationally. He is a former member of Eclipse and Prestige Dance Crew and is an established freestyler and choreographer. He has won National and International recognition for his skill, ranging from winning National All-style Battle Competitions and Urban Crew Competitions to teaching urban choreography/Freestyle/Krump Workshops internationally, even having the opportunity to teach at "Dance Energy" the hosts of the most prestigious dance camp "Urban Dance Camp" in Germany, as well as winning the European Buck Session(EBS) Krump World Championships in 2018.