Two musical sisters are giving Auckland kids a chance to embrace their individuality and build confidence through song and dance.
Jasmine and Dani Plows, 20 and 19 respectively, founded Auckland Glee in March 2012, as a performing-arts club based closely on the popular TV show Glee.
Members of the club, aged between 11 and 18, are taught songs and dance moves from each episode of the show.
Club director Jasmine says that while the focus is on singing and dancing, their main aim is to build confidence and get the kids to put passion into what they do.
She says celebrating each person’s individuality is an essential part of what the club does as well.
“Everyone’s sort of their own person and it’s great because they’re at an age where they could be quite awkward. Here, they don’t have to be awkward at all and they don’t have to pretend to be somebody else.”
This idea of embracing individuality was showcased at the club’s end-of-year production last year. Each member, including the teachers, wore a white t-shirt branded with one word that described a flaw or insecurity that the wearer believed they had. They performed to Lady Gaga’s empowering freedom anthem, Born This Way.
Mary Dolan, 21, who helps with the musical side of the club’s activities, says the kids got to know each other well through working on this project, even though they are all very different.
The club’s 12 members practise at Newmarket Primary School and enjoy the benefits of learning in a smaller group. Jasmine Plows says they have ambitions to expand into the wider Auckland region and bring the concept of Auckland Glee to more young people.
For the moment though, the Plows sisters and Miss Dolan are delighted to be able to contribute positively to the lives of even a small group of kids.