“Truly unique” is how Jemma Lowther describes the dance program at Hoppers Crossing Secondary College because, she says, it blends passion and education to promote growth and connectedness.
Jemma, the VET trainer for dance and whose teaching roles include Dance/Health, Physical Education, and Wakakirri, explains how getting involved in dance and performing arts at the college offers students invaluable life and creative skills.
“Elective classes start at Year 9, with students encouraged to develop their skills in a range of dance styles and practice, communicating and brainstorming ideas with peers outside their home group.
“By Year 10, the budding choreographers get to design, practise and perform their own theme-based routines. These activities allow groups to explore their creativity while learning to compromise and work as a team.”
Jemma notes that dance education at the school, however, doesn’t stop there.
“The college also offers industry-based dance training through the VET program for Years 11 and 12.
“VET Dance gives students knowledge and skills to pursue a career in the performing arts. Dancers learn from current leading professionals in the field, while developing their technique, fitness and industry understanding.”
Dance is also at the heart of the college’s largest extra-curricular program.
“Wakakirri is a story-dance competition that students from all year levels are welcome to participate in. This program is so popular, more than 200 students sign up each year for both performing and backstage roles.
In 2019, Hoppers Crossing Secondary College was crowned National Champions for their story, ‘Be Careful What You Whisper’, which depicted the impacts of spreading rumours over social media.
“Having participated in the program for more than seven years, not only has the college had great success, but individual students have been singled out and awarded scholarships to full-time dance training at Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance,” Jemma says. She believes the true success of the program is seen in the spirit and camaraderie built between the students.
“Regardless of year level, dance ability or academic success, all team members involved in Wakakirri have a safe place to express themselves and feel included in the school community.
“In a time where it’s common for young people to feel isolated, the dance programs at the college serve to foster relationships, as well as promoting students’ love of performing.”
Hoppers Crossing Secondary College, 2 Fraser Street, Hoppers Crossing. Enquiries: 9974 7777 or