Asking a group of teenagers to turn up to lessons during the school holidays is a hard call but a group of Whanganui City College (WCC) students have been more than willing to show up this week.
It helped that the tutor was 22-year-old hip-hop artist and poet Sheldon Rua, who was at the school to deliver two days of workshops alongside dance teacher Pauline Hiroti.
"Pauline is a friend of mine and I have stopped in on my way from Blenheim to Auckland," Rua said.
"I've been really impressed with what I've seen here over two days."
Rua, who has competed in international hip-hop competitions and is a leading voice in Aotearoa's burgeoning stand-up poetry scene, also has a passion for mentorship.
WCC hip-hop dancers Aotea Empire and recent National Schools Hip Hop Competition winners Kare Krew performed their routines for Rua after two days of workshops.
"You guys smashed it," he told them.
"You had me bobbing in my chair and I've got goosebumps on my arms."
After the compliments came advice to "remember your faces" and look at the audience.
"It's not just about what your bodies are doing," Rua said.
"Find a person in the audience and perform to them.
"Look at a judge and think 'You better watch me man' and make sure your face is working."
Rua said it is about shooting energy back to the audience and performing as if you are in the front row even when you are at the back.
Born and raised in South Auckland, Rua was making his mark as a high school student aiming to inspire, encourage and motivate others as a dancer, musician and speaker with TedXManakau.
His poetry is from the heart and his performances as rhythmic as his dancing. His performance of his poem I am Māori attracted more than 350,000 views on Facebook in 2016 and in 2017 he was named Dux of Alfriston College.
His numerous spoken word performances have attracted a sizeable online following and his powerful performance of his poem Protect, captured by young filmmakers Team COTI at Ihumātao last year, was a winner in the Someday Challenge.
Now based in Blenheim, Rua teaches performing arts at a primary school.
"I haven't spent a lot of time in Whanganui but I like what I see," he said.
"There is certainly some talent here."
WCC deputy principal Val Rooderkerk said the two-day workshops were open to all high school students and some participants from Whanganui High School and Whanganui Girls College attended.