Dance teacher becomes inventor of new game

Mrs Sciascia worked on three versions of her Scatterbones prototype before taking the invention to a pitch event in England. Photos supplied.

Howick dance teacher Claire Sciascia’s game Scatterbones is set to be distributed on a global scale.

After 23 years of teaching dance, local resident Claire Sciascia is passing on the ownership of her beloved studio Dance Xpress to pursue another hobby – invention.

Driving home from the studio one night, Mrs Sciascia came up with the idea for Scatterbones, a game where players must flip all their bones to complete a fully-fledged skeleton figure.

It all started with a cheap prototype made of Warehouse-purchased clay, an enthusiastic seven-year-old to kid-proof the game, and a Google search on how games get published nowadays.

She never imagined her idea would go global, but the mother-of-three hit the jackpot when she flew to England for the annual Inventor’s Workshop and pitched her idea in person to some of the world’s biggest game companies.

Organisers picked up the prototype, and Scatterbones is now set to be distributed internationally in 2017 by toy and game licensing agency Ooba Toys.

In the past month and a half, the game has been featured in Hong Kong and Chicago trade fairs, and Mrs Sciascia started to receive calls from distributors in New Zealand after her invention was promoted on Seven Sharp.

It’s an exciting change for the mother-of-three, who has taught dance in east Auckland for 23 years, and held ownership of Dance Xpress for 10 years.

“I’ve taught and watched some of those kids grow up since they were little, so it’s definitely bittersweet.”

Neverland Studios will take over the Pakuranga-based facility, adding a third location to their Mairangi Bay and Ponsonby studios – news that Mrs Sciascia says is “massively exciting” for dancers in east Auckland.

“Ashleigh and Alley [new owners] are so passionate about their dance… and their studios are amazing. I couldn’t have passed it onto anyone better.”

Mrs Sciascia will still be teaching at the Pakuranga studio, but says she is looking forward to spending more time on her inventions, and getting a headstart on her next idea – whatever that may be.