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About Us

Our Mission

ConnectEd Dance Company aims to connect Hamilton and Waikato children with the many marvelous developmental benefits of dance! We provide affordable and accessible community dance classes, workshops, community events, and in-school dance programming for Early and Primary school aged children (ages 3 to 12 years old).

 

We believe dance is a vehicle for meaningful connection to several aspects of wellbeing. Our company teaches dance to develop physical, emotional, intellectual, and social connections that support growth of the whole child. 

 

Physical/Intellectual: Our curriculum seeks to impart safe and functional technique and dance skills for fitness, strength, coordination, and body awareness. We do this through an educational dance element/concept lens. Dance elements impart skills and steps in a nurturing and engaging way, providing children with a language of movement they can understand, utelize, and create with. This develops kinaesthetic connection with body and mind, leaving our dancers intrinsically capable and motivated to express themselves through movement. Additionaly, we aim to provide a variety of contexts and styles to try! 

Emotional/Social: We aim to connect dancers with their artistic voice by providing them with skills and tools to create (alone and in groups), perform, and reflect on dance in an environment that encourages contribution, creativity, confidence, and citizenship. Character building is also woven into our curriculum in fun and exciting ways! 

Dance teacher, dance children, dancing in a studio
ConnectEd Dance Co.   
  • Adhere to DANZ Professional, Ethical Codes

  • OneMusic (APRA/AMCOS) licensee

  • Safewise Developed Health & Safety system

Miss Lia, Dance teacher, Founder of ConnectEd Dance studio
Liahona Walus  BS, MHSHP  

Owner/Artistic Director/Teacher

  • Certified Intellidance®️ Kids instructor 

  • Certified Rhythm Works integrative dance instructor

  • Member Dance and the Child International

  • First Aid Certified/Police vetted instructor

Miss Lia

Greetings! Ko Liahona ahau. Tainui te waka, ko Whitireia te maunga, ko Kenepuru te awa, ko Ngati Toa, Ngai Tahu, Ngati Tama, Ngati Koata te Iwi, ko te Marae o Toa Rangatira.

 

I am a mum and passionate dance educator. I hold a Masters Degree in Health Sport and Human Performance (First Class Honors) from the University of Waikato, studying community dance education. I have been teaching dance to children for 8 years and prior to that completed a 4 year dance major at Brigham Young University, Provo, USA. There, I studied World Dance, Ballet, Contemporary, and Ballroom technique, teaching methods and choreography for ballet, world, and contemporary styles, anatomy, kinesiology, dance history and more. I was privileged to perform nationally and internationally with the famed BYU Folk Dance Ensemble for 3 years, a group who I watched as a young 11 year old girl on a tour to Wellington and just knew I'd join one day! My training and experiences ranges from the marae to the classroom, studio, and stage all the way to parading down the cobblestone roads of Europe! My experience with dance in several contexts has connected me with my creative voice, my heritage, my vocational purpose, and some of my closest friends. I aim to provide dance education that similarly creates a variety of opportunities and dance contexts for ConnectEd dancers in Waikato schools and our community.

Miss Amy

Ko Maungatere te maunga

Ko Rakahuri te awa

Ko Tuahuriri te tangata

Ko Tuahiwi te marae

Ko Maahunui te tuarua te wharenui

Ko Amy toku ingoa

Ko Ngai Tuahuriri te hapu 

Ko Ngai Tahu te iwi

I'm a mum of 3 kids, I've been dancing for over 20 years. My love of dance started with ballet when I was 7 and as I grew older I branched out to jazz, contemporary and hip hop. I started teaching dance when I was 15, under the direction of Dance Techs studio director Suzanne Fenton. I am really passionate about education and teaching, I received my post graduate diploma in teaching in 2013, just before I had my first child, and have recently completed my master of education. 

Miss Amy, ConnectEd Dance studio teacher
Amy Smith  BSLT, PGDipTL (Primary) ,MEd

Teacher

  • NZAMD Advanced Certification Ballet/Jazz

  • Level 5 Hip Hop and Contemporary

  • First Aid Certified/Police vetted instructor

"Our daughter loves her dance classes. They are well organized and fun. The activities change frequently, include props, teach various dance skills, and match the attention span of the students. Liahona is professional in her manner, patient with children, and flexible. She also uses imaginative and relatable stories to help the children visualize what the dance moves could look like as they try them."

Josiah E.

"Miss Lia's approach to dance is wonderfully engaging. Every class is different, colourful and so much fun. Her love of dance and skill of teaching make for incredibly enjoyable classes - to participate in and watch."

Ann G.

“My daughter been dancing with Miss Lia for over 2 years since she was 2 and its been amazing for her development. She is a twin and at a young age I noticed she struggled to do things without her brother so I wanted to find something special for her to do. She was hesitate at first to do something without her brother, but Miss Lia was so patient and her love for dance flourish and so did her confidence and social skills.”

Natasha D.

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