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Ki te kore nga putake e mākukungia e kore te rakau e tupu
If the roots of the tree are not watered the tree will never grow

Here at Zion, we acknowledge that the need to feel excepted, to feel safe and to be given tools on how to navigate through lifes unavoidable challenges is becoming more prevalent in this day and age.  It is important to us to offer a high level of professional dance, but is just as important to  provide young people the environment and the tools to develop themselves physically,  mentally and emotionally.


All Zion students not only enjoy investment in their dance skills, but also in their personal confidence and provision of a space to express personal growth in a physical manner.  NOIZ Academy takes this further by proactively incorporating aspects of the Te Whare Tapa Wha model.  This model of working with people was created by Mason Durie in 1982 and has been used ever since to help understand health and what can help an individual to have good health.

Te Whare Tapa Wha is based on the four pillars of the wharenui (meeting house).  Just as each corner of the house must be strong and balanced to hold its structure, each dimension of well-being must be balanced for good health to exist. The four aspects of Te Whare Tapa Wha are; taha tinana (physical health), taha whanau (family and relationships), taha wairua (spirituality) and taha hinengaro (mental health).

This fits perfectly with our intention to help people to grow in a way that is mindful of their balanced wellbeing so is an ideal model from us to draw on for our NOIZ Academy and other leadership development programmes.


NOIZ Academy (ZION spelled backwards) is a programme dedicating time where all advanced students will learn together and strengthen the family atmosphere at Zion Studios.  It is a big achievement as well as a big responsibility to be a part of an advanced crew and NOIZ academy. We want to provide students with further support in a more holistic manner to help them achieve their goals and dreams, both for themselves and as a part of Zion Studios.

How we aim to do this:

  • To holistically develop each dancer involved by incorporating times to explore life skills and life events that our group may be experiencing (taha hinengaro and taha wairua) and to collectively develop and invest in each other.

  • To strengthen the relationships and family vibe of Zion by helping students get to know each other and support one and other through open and safe communication and learning opportunities (taha whanau) undertaken with other students and teachers beyond their individual crews.

  • To further strengthen Zion values in our studio (taha wairua, taha whanau and taha hinengaro).

  • To further strengthen and develop the skill levels of each dancer and their learning capacity (taha tinana).

  • To build an understanding of what it looks and feels like to be part of a positive, engaged community


We will run NOIZ sessions from 5:00-6:30pm weekly on a Monday night during the Zion term – other than on the first Monday of term.
Typically, NOIZ sessions will begin with a portion of sharing time where a Zion staff member or guest speaker will speak about a life experience or life value, or we will run an activity based around various relevant topics.  Students then have the opportunity to talk about these or other topics as needed in small groups with Zion staff members or appointed delegates.
After that we will have some kind of dance based development. This time may consist of encouraging confidence when free-styling, building ton technique aspects, learning or creating choreography, working in larger groups or smaller groups to create or learn their own dances, learning other styles of dance and hip hop or learning about other aspects of dance performance such as styling or music choices.  Dance sessions will be taken by Zion teachers or a guest teacher.
Occasionally we will become aware of a particular issue that is impacting our students – eg. an event at school or creating waves via social media – that we invite expert professionals to explore in a NOIZ session.  If this is considered a sensitive topic all parents/caregivers may be required to give specific approval in advance for their student to attend this session.  Alternatives will be provided for students who don’t receive permission for this teaching.


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