Meet our Dance Performance Series cover star!

20 October 2017
Taitanyk Toniu, Dance Studies Performance Series
Taitanyk Toniu, Dance Studies Performance Series

All hands are on deck as our dance students throw themselves into this year’s Dance Studies Performance Series, which kicked off with Wednesday night’s sell-out Third Year Student Showcase, Thus Far.

Preparing to take the dance world by storm, our performance series cover star, postgraduate Dance Studies student Taitanyk Toniu takes time out from rehearsals to tell us all about his own personal dance journey, and his plans for the future.

Growing up in Otara, South Auckland, Taitanyk discovered his own destiny with dance during Year 11 when he became involved in a dance programme spearheaded by charitable trust, Crosspower Ministries in Otara.

Interestingly, before dance, Taitanyk considered becoming an accountant, but a future in finance ceased to add up once he realised that where his future really lay was in his feet! “The reason why I chose to study dance was so that I could one day return to my old high school as a dance teacher, presenting opportunities to those who wish to pursue dance but who don’t have an outlet to develop their craft, providing them with different career pathways to choose from.

Taitanyk Toniu, postgraduate Dance Studies student
Taitanyk Toniu, postgraduate Dance Studies student

“I also want to dance for a hip hop company like IDCO (Identity Dance Company), or a contemporary dance company like Footnote, or Atamira Dance Company. I just want to continue dancing for as long as I can.”

Studying dance at the University can open up a whole range of careers for graduating students, taking them to the next level as artists and presenting various avenues for developing unique creative voices, be it as choreographers, teachers, community practioners, administrators, fitness professionals, managers and leaders – the possiblities are plenty!

Now approaching the end of his dance studies at the University, Taitanyk reflects on his time spent studying the discipline. “It’s honestly really sad. I feel like it was just yesterday that I started this degree as an undergraduate. Three years later, I am finishing my Postgraduate Diploma in Dance Studies. I have travelled to three different countries dancing, performing and teaching. I have danced alongside so many people that I am now grateful to call my friends, my brothers and my sisters.

“Dance is my personal embodiment of what I feel in any sort of context. Dance motivates me to grow in all aspects of my life .. I am always learning how to be a better person in general and I feel like dance has shaped how I am and how I see things in life.”

Awarded the Wallace Arts Trust Outstanding Emerging Artist Award at the Short+Sweet Dance Festival in 2016, Taitanyk is already making a mark within the industry, and a promising future is anticipated as he explores his next steps in dance.

You can see Taitanyk in action at the Postgraduate Showcase on Saturday 28 October. The show’s performances promise a unique spectrum of concepts demonstrating a whole year of our postrgraduate students’ work, and marks the conclusion of this year’s spellbinding Dance Studies Performance Series.


Tickets for Action | Undergraduate Showcase | Friday 27 October, 7.30pm | Saturday 28 October, 12pm

Tickets for Postgraduate Showcase | Saturday 28 October, 7.30pm