Friday, March 1, 2024

Local dancer a shooting star

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Former Howick College student Jessica Toatoa began her dancing career when she was eight years old. Now 21, she has compiled an impressive resume’ which includes dancing with the biggest names in music.

Recently, Jess attended an audition in Los Angeles, with the aim of joining Queen of Chinese-pop (C-Pop) ’s, World tour in 2020.

Local dancer Jess Toatoa dancing with C-pop sensation Jolin Tsai. Photo supplied

Six New Zealand dancers attended the audition, and Jessica was selected as one of sixteen successful dancers, to join the superstar on tour in Asia.

Rehearsals start in November for Jolin’s big, two-hour production that has dates in Taiwan and China starting New Years 2020 , followed a potential trip back to the USA and Hong Kong.

On the back of being chosen for the upcoming tour, Jessica has been signed to GTA (Go 2 talent) agency in LA, and choreographer Rudy Abreu has asked Jessica to assist him at conventions all over America for the Jump Dance Convention with Embodiment Dance Collective.

Rudy’s credits include choreographing for  Jennifer Lopez, Derek and Julianne Hough, Bebe Rexha, Ben Platt, Camilla Cabello, Leona Lewis, Jacky Cheung, Inana and Little Mix.

In 2014 Jess auditioned for The Palace Dance Studio and was chosen to join the Sorority Dance crew, who performed in Parris Goebels’ shows Goldmynd and Moonchild.


In 2015 she was selected for her second year of Sorority. They won the Street dance New Zealand Regional’s, National’s, and qualified for the finals at the Hip Hop International worlds. A week after the world’s, Sorority went on to guest perform at the World of Dance competition which was a hit on YouTube, with views currently sitting on 142 million.

Jess was also part of the Opening performance for R&B star Ciara, alongside the ReQuest dance crew in her Christchurch and Wellington shows, and went viral with the Justin Bieber monster hit ‘Sorry’.

In 2019, after a grueling audition, Jess was accepted into a prestigious three- month mentorship programme in Los Angeles, with Beyoncé choreographer Dana Foglia.

Jess works locally at Red Studio inspiring the next generation of NZ dancers.



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