William Keohavong came from Australia to study at NZSD as a contemporary dance major. He talks about his experiences at the School.

“I chose to make the move to New Zealand due to the unique dance style that the Kiwi’s are well known for, athleticism and rawness. I just love how big and efficient Kiwi dancers can move, whether that’s with lightning speed, intricacy or complete release.

NZSD has a reputation of being one of the best full-time ballet/contemporary schools in the southern hemisphere. This is due to the wonderful staff. They welcomed our individual styles and helped us further explore that by showing us how we can translate it into contemporary dance and even use it as a choreographic tool. For me this was Hip Hop where I originally started as a dancer. I now approach movement differently and have the knowledge that there are many different ways to execute one movement. The options and possibilities are limitless. At any point you could decide to change up the gear and really ‘attack’ everything in the choreography or simply let the movement take you and just ride it, giving it a more soft and fluid dynamic.

My daily routine generally starts with either a ballet or contemporary class. Sometimes it’s Yoga or Pilates. We usually do two technique classes a day to prepare ourselves for a busy demanding day. After lunch we then focus on our main disciplines. For the contemporary students this includes Improvisation, Contact Improvisation, Composition, Dance Partnering, Gym, Tumbling, Rehearsals and the list goes on.

Living in Wellington and attending NZSD, it’s really changed my life. I’ve made so many new friends that I now call my ‘family’. Being around talented dancers day in and day out is inspiring and I am so grateful that I get to be part of that every day.



William performs in NZSD Graduation Season, November 2014

Photo: William Keohavong, photographed in 2014 by Stephen A’Court