Three months, 300 students, 556 costumes, 48 songs, nine sewers, seven choreographers, three rehearsals, two shows. It's show time.

The theme behind this year's Amjazz Dance Studio's show is all about feelings and emotions, with the title 'I got a feelin!'

There are two performances tomorrow at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

Principal dancer, teacher and owner of Amjazz Dance Studios Nikki Wilkinson says she took inspiration from a couple of ideas.


A dance called Against All Odds from the 2018 show, IPod Shuffle, gave Nikki her initial idea alongside another dancer's past involvement with a piece called Raw Emotions.

Nikki believes that not only is it "important for all children, teenagers and adults to openly express their feelings and emotions in their lives" but that doing so through dance provides her students with the chance to express them through performance.

She says it felt like a theme that would be "good for the kids to relate to.

"It is okay to talk about how we feel and to ask for help when we need it."

When teaching each class their routine, Nikki conveyed through her own experiences how that particular emotion or feeling has affected her.

She says she was able to encourage her students to think back and connect to a time where their dance's emotion or feeling related to their own lives, and by making connections they are better able to convey the feeling through their movements.

This year's show will see American jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and aerial yoga silks genres being performed.

"We also have our Aerial Silks students performing their dance in their silks down the outer edges of the auditorium instead of on stage, giving a point of difference to our show."


Tickets are selling out fast and this is Amjazz Dance Studio's 22nd annual show.

Pam Shanks, previous owner and Nikki's mother, spends hours preparing the 556 costumes needed for the dancers to be onstage.

Together, Nikki, Pam and their creative staff lead a passionate bunch of parents, family and friends in all stages of the production.

"Our studio is unlike any other I've experienced, we are like one big happy family, we all share the same passion and we just love to perform together and see each other improve and grow."

Nikki says, "My seniors are about to leave, they have been dancing with us since they were 5 and after spending the past 13 years teaching them, I get attached, they are now skilled dancers in all genres that they do.

"Being part of a busy dance show and performing is one way to say goodbye. I will miss them and look forward to seeing what they get up to in their futures."

Dancers performing range in ages from 5 years to into their late 60s.

Until recently, Maureen Rolfe, in her 70s, had performed in the last 16 shows.

"She passed away two weeks ago and we will pay tribute to her in our show, through a reflective piece."

The details
■ What: Amjazz Dance Studios annual dance show 'I got a feelin!'
■ When: Saturday, December 1, two shows - 1.30pm and 6.30pm
■ Where: Energy Events Centre
■ Tickets: