Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

D-day looms for school performers (+video)

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After months of preparation, costuming, choreography and weekend practises, John Paul College students say they are "stressed but excited" about taking centre stage next week.

The city's regional Stage Challenge and J-Rock competitions take place next Thursday and Friday night at the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre.

For countless students past and present, Stage Challenge is a staple annual event and a rite of passage for those painstakingly bringing the performance together.

Last year's regional competition saw a high calibre of performers across the board, but ultimately Rotorua Girls' High School reigned supreme.

This year local students from Western Heights High, Lakes High, Girls' High, Mokoia Intermediate, Tauhara College and John Paul College will take centre stage.

John Paul College Year 12 student Lexis Ferguson-Maxwell, 16, is one of this year's choreographers and said she and the other choreographers had found the process rewarding.

"It's definitely been hard at times because a lot of the students taking part are not dancers. We have had to train them from scratch so that has been a challenge but at the same time it is so rewarding to see everyone get to the same level."

"While it is always nice to win, Stage Challenge is more than just a competition. The best part about the whole experience is all the students coming together as a team and bonding. We were all practically strangers at the start and now we're together so that's the most rewarding thing."

The students' theme for this year is the power of temptation and draws from the school's Catholic background.

"We wanted something that represented our Catholic school so we chose that theme, basing it off the story of Adam and Eve," Lexis said.

Choreographer Allie Morris, 16, added: "We had a bunch of ideas bouncing around in the beginning and this one came about through the process of elimination,"

Teacher in charge Jane Trask said there had been ups and downs, but it had been a great learning experience for the students.

John Paul College is also entering the J-Rock competition with a theme of facing your fears.

Other schools taking part in J-Rock are Kaitao Middle School, Makaraka School, Otonga Rd Primary School, St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Taupo Intermediate and Western Heights Primary School.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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