Dancers take to the stage for Garin College arts festival

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The creative talents of Garin College students burst into action as the school was turned into a stage for its annual arts festival.

Drama, singing, music and dance featured heavily in the two-day festival while cupcake decorating, flax weaving, hot air balloon making and clay animation were amongst some of the workshop activities on offer.

Students gave plenty of vocal support for performers who choreographed their own dances. The artistic endeavours also had a competitive side, with students competing for points for their school houses.

“The whole festival is a house competition and it’s all about getting points,” said Garin College arts coordinator Lindsey Furlong-Taylor. “[Students] get individual points as well as house points and there is an individual winner and a house winner.”

Students had to enter in at least two items so the workshops provided alternatives for those who weren’t performers, she said.

Garin College arts captains Jess Brooks and Nick Erasmuson had been planning for the event since October last year.

Brooks had wanted to be an arts captain since she first participated in the festival as a year 9 student.

“Being a part of it, getting to organise it and seeing it all come together has been amazing,” she said.

One of the things they had really wanted to do was black out the gymnasium for the festival and string fairy lights across the ceiling.

Brooks said she was sad it was coming to an end but was happy to have the end of term showcase concert to look forward to.

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“The school just has fun with it, its the biggest event of the year and to see everyone having fun is amazing,” said Brooks.

Nelson dance teacher Peta Spooner, who judged the competition, told the students it was “lovely to see so many people dancing and doing so well. I have enjoyed so much being here and seeing your happy faces.”

Furlong-Taylor said the festival kept getting bigger: “This year [students] said it was the best they have ever seen.”

The best performances would be showcased for family and friends at the Mahi Toi concert at the Hope Community Church, July 1 and 2 at 7pm.

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