Launched Festival highlights dance crew’s talents

Dance Domination from Life Unlimited’s Nga Mara Atea programme get down and boogie with dance teacher Clayton.

Several participants of Life Unlimited’s Nga Mara Atea programme recently performed at the annual Launched Festival held at Southwell School’s Performing Arts Centre in Hamilton.

In preparation for it, Nga Mara Atea’s Dance Domination dancers came together every Monday at Excite Music Academy to practice under dance teacher Clayton.

The Launched Festival, previously known as the Hamilton Disability Pride Film Festival, was first held in 2008 and involved screening films about people with disabilities at various venues around the city.

It grew to include locally made digital stories, sporting and social events. It then went on to be an Arts Festival to celebrate the gifts and talents of people with disabilities in our community.

Over the years staff from various Hamilton support organisations were actively involved in arranging and running the festival, including Interactionz, Community Living Trust and Enrich+.

Independent volunteers involved include John Smith, Barbara Choat and Lillian Martin, along with many who are either participants or support people.

Tiffany Louise Collette with her art work.

Tiffany Louise Collette show cased her art work, which she describes as Neopop, at this year’s event. She is a recognised artist who has sold many of her paintings and hopes to have her own studio one day.