Alana Short and Junior Kurariki, the Taunga (Experts, 35 to 45 years) defending champions, have both managed to hold onto their titles.
The dancers performed to a packed Rehab nightclub, with an appreciative audience cheering on the participants.
Short was happy with her performance and felt grateful and proud to retain the title.
Graceful and poised, Short smoothly flowed through her dance routine to Mere Dashwood’s popular song ‘Darling’.
“I always get a bit nervous beforehand, however as a performer you learn how to overcome and ride that energy when you get onstage,” she said.
Like other dancers, Short had an A team who critique and make changes to actions of how best to portray the song and the beats.
“It is a good feeling when you know you have honoured the time they put out for you, it is a bonus to have come up in first place.”
Short is 41-years-old and would like to encourage more dancers to participate in the 35 to 45 year age group and to join the dance competition next year.
“What I enjoy most about this section is that I have freedom to express my style and individuality for the fun of it,” she said.
Short is proud to still be dancing and also continues to hone her skills.
“I tribute my dance experience to my mum Sisi Short for encouraging me into dancing from an early age, training and entering me into competitions.
“I would like to thank my sister Avera Hunter, Hana Taiarui and Donna Tuara for their time they have invested in me these past two weeks.”
Joyce Fortes was the female Taunga runner up and Matauia Manavaroa placed third. The male runner up was Uta Araitia and Harold Ruatoe representing Mangaia Enua came third.
The new Rauti Para (Golden Oldies 58+) male champion is 74-year-old Ngarima George, with runner up Vaitoti Tupa and Mau Raina placing third.
George was humbled to be selected the winner.
Looking fit and agile, George easily powered his way through the pe’e, slow and fast beat sections
“It was a great night and I enjoyed it.”
Former Rauti Para female champion Here Southwick was thrilled to reclaim the title.
Southwick said although she felt the competition was challenging, she enjoyed the night.
“All of us mamas are winners, it was a great evening.”
The eldest competitor, 78-year-old Ake Lewis came in third place, she represented the island of Nukuroa (Mitiaro).
“I felt happy, I still can do it,” she said.
Runner up female in the section was Mii Upu.