Dancers aiming for the top

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LEAVING with New Zealand titles to their names is the goal of three young Southland dancers competing for the last time in the 2019 Junior Rock ‘n’ Roll Nationals in Invercargill next weekend.

Invercargill Rock ‘n’ Roll Club members Quinn Robins, Isabella O’Donnell and Caitlin van Miltenburg (all 17) are among 60 juniors from the club who qualified to compete in the junior nationals this year.

Quinn and Caitlin are defending their junior/senior open title and Quinn and Isabella are defending their junior/senior restricted title, won at the junior nationals in Auckland last year.

Quinn had been dancing with the Invercargill club since the age of 7. Taking out the two national titles last year was his best result to date.

Isabella said their goal this year was to win more than one section.

The trio are competing in the junior/senior open, restricted, same sex and triples sections.

The 2019 Junior Rock ‘n’ Roll Nationals was expected to attract about 250 competitors aged from 6 to 17 years from as far north as Whangarei and more than 1000 spectators, supporters and officials.

The event is being hosted by the Invercargill Rock ‘n’ Roll Club.

Club president Karl Herman said the public would have the opportunity to see some “spectacular dancing” from the best young dancers in New Zealand.

“We really want to get bums on seats to see how good these kids are,” he said.

“It’s the best of the best.”

The nationals would be Quinn, Caitlin and Isabella’s last competition at junior level.

Quinn said he was not sentimental about leaving the juniors because he intended to continue to dance and compete at senior level.

“It’s not like I’m stopping dancing.

“[But] it is going to be a big step going from juniors to seniors.”

2019 Junior Rock ‘n’ Roll Nationals, ILT Stadium Southland, April 19-21.

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