7 Mar 2017

The Joy Project: Cuda Wong

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From THE JOY PROJECT, 10:30 am on 7 March 2017

Cuda Wong, 11, dancer at Carter-Chan Dance Performance Centre. He lives with his mum, dad, older sister and younger brother in East Tamaki Heights.

Join us through March as a diverse group of New Zealanders share what makes them happy.

I dance six days a week. Fridays, that’s my busiest day. I basically go to school, come home, have like a 15-minute break and then I go again. I finish at 9.30pm. It’s basically one class after another. Constant dancing. I feel mainly tired by the end. And sore. Sometimes my back, sometimes my legs, sometimes my arms. All over the place, really.

I was about four-and-a-half when I started dancing. I used to watch my sister dance and I wanted to dance like her. Now I do hip-hop, jazz and tap, as well as tumbling and breakdancing. My favourite kind of dancing is probably breakdancing.

When I dance I feel happy. And when I’m performing on stage it’s really exciting and it gets me hyped. The music’s really important. If you don’t have good music, your dance won’t be good.

Cuda Wong, 11, whose joy is dancing.

Photo: RNZ / Brad White

It’s just fun learning stuff and the way you move your body. It keeps you fit. Also, I like dancing with my friends because you spend lots of time together hanging out. I’ve met tons of people through dancing.

Josh Cesan is my favourite dancer [he is the director of IDentity Dance Company, a world hip-hop championship title holder and he used to be Cuda’s dance teacher]. I used to dance with him when I first started hip-hop and I really liked his choreo [choreography] and then he became a real big dancer in the world. So I really want to be like him. He’s a hip-hop dancer but he also does tap and contemporary.

Cuda Wong, 11, whose joy is dancing.

Photo: RNZ / Brad White

Yeah, I think I will always dance. When I’m older I think I’d like to maybe be a professional dancer or Olympic trampolinist. And I can definitely imagine myself being a dance teacher. I just want to keep people dancing, I want to get everyone dancing.

As told to Felicity Monk.

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