Off to the city of angels

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Oamaru dancer Riley Chandler will make a dream of hers come true next year when she performs at a place known for doing just that.
Oamaru dancer Riley Chandler will make a dream of hers come true next year when she performs at a place known for doing just that.

Oamaru dancer Riley Chandler will make a dream of hers come true next year when she performs at a place known for doing just that.
The 17-year-old St Kevin’s College pupil has been selected with about 20 other dancers to travel to Los Angeles in July 2017 as part of a two-week tour, organised by the Dean McKeras School of Dance.
While Mr McKeras is based in the North Island and does not get the chance to see Riley dance on a regular basis, he was impressed with the dancing he had seen at workshops and encouraged her to apply to be selected for the trip.
While in Oamaru, Riley dances under the tutelage of Victoria Cooper.
“I’ve been taking dance tuition with Dean. He said to me at a workshop I was at with him that he was taking a group over there and told me to apply.”After doing just that, she said she was delighted to learn she was the only South Island dancer to make the cut.
“Being from Oamaru, I’m on my own for most of may dance classes. I’m very grateful Victoria Cooper came back to Oamaru . . . if she wasn’t here, I don’t think I would have been able to do it.”While in Los Angeles, Riley will perform in front of a huge audience on stage at Disneyland, and on Hollywood Boulevard.
She will attend workshops, classes and seminars with industry experts at the International Dance Academy and the Edge Performing Arts Centre, renowned as one of the finest professional dance schools in the world.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Riley said.
“I love performing. I’ve always wanted to perform at Disneyland.”Proficient in jazz, ballet and contemporary dancing, Riley believed her future lay in professional dancing and expected to learn a lot from her Los Angeles jaunt.
“It will help me find out more about whether it [professional dancing] is what I want to do. If I do want to perform for a career, it will help drive that.”She said there weren’t huge opportunities for career dancers in New Zealand.
However, that wasn’t the case overseas.
“There’s a lot of people that dance on cruise ships and there’s been New Zealand dancers who have backed up for Justin Bieber in his videos, so there are opportunities.”“I’m a little bit nervous because I won’t know anyone there. “They will be able to get together for choreography . . . but it does make it a little more special being the only one from the South Island. It makes me feel all of the hard work has paid off.”