Rotorua-based dance group Breakthrew are helping youngsters explore a fusion of different dance styles as they officially launch their free dance academy.

The launch will be held tomorrow at Gate Enterprise Central with guest performances from young local singers, rappers and dancers.

The workshops will run for 30 weeks and participants have the chance to perform for an audience in the middle of the term and at the end.

The academy is open to youngsters aged 10 to 18 and following the launch, classes will be held every Saturday from 2pm to 5pm.


Academy director Bree Solomon said they had been running preliminary workshops for a few weeks and had received positive feedback leaving the crew feeling confident ahead of the official launch.

"We are seeing the transition of many youngsters from not-so-good behaviour to really positive behaviour which is satisfying for us."

Mrs Solomon said the academy was set up to provide Rotorua youth with a platform they could perform on and be free to express themselves.

"We want our young people to experience hip hop and develop their desire to build their skills. We want to show our youth it is possible for them to perform at a world-stage level."

Breakthrew was founded by Shanz Whare in 2013 and the group acts as an ambassador against bullying, drugs and substance abuse.

Mrs Solomon said the programme gave Rotorua youth the opportunity to showcase their talent regardless of age or skill level.

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"The groups are not decided by age groups but by the type of dance each person is interested in."

Breakthrew's name is also the philosophy of the crew, encouraging others to overcome obstacles that hold them back from being who they hope to be.

Breakthrew dancers embrace their culture and use their costumes and image to show young people it's okay to be different.


*What: Breakthrew Academy official launch.
*Where: GE Central, 1231 Hinemaru St.
*When: Tomorrow, from 1pm to 2pm.
*Cost: Free.