Jane Paul hit the ground running when she signed up to Performing Arts at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa this year.
Just three weeks into her Kāwai Raupapa Level 3 Certificate in Māori Performance, the 21-year-old was rehearsing to perform at an environmental symposium, then there was a kapa haka performance to officially open Street Dance New Zealand's qualifying round.
Following that, a trip down to Wellington to take part in a kapa haka Super 12 competition and the icing on the cake, taking part in the Tāmaki Makaurau kapa haka Regionals.
As kaitātaki of her roopu - Te Whare Toi a Rehia, the Ngāti Hine leader says with the only level higher being Te Matatini, she was still shaking afterwards, nervous to be representing her kaiako Aaron Henare and all that he'd taught them.
"I'd got all these weeks of his teaching and now I had to show it. The way we were taught though, it made it so much easier to all us to move as one."
Jane was originally looking to study social services at the Wānanga, however that all quickly changed and coming into a class with tauira who had lived and breathed kapa haka was not as daunting as she'd first anticipated.
"Kāwai Raupapa is so so much more than I expected. I was like 'Oh wow, there's more to what I've seen in kapa haka. The Regionals, it was amazing. I never knew I'd get to stand on the same stage as Te Waka Huia, so soon. I'm so proud of everyone."
Future opportunities are on the horizon but she's already looking at ways to stay connected to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
"Everyone would love to keep studying here. This place is loaded with talent and opportunity-wise it's overflowing."
There’s also an upcoming television series her class was a part of as featured extras and additional crew - yet another exciting project, it's still under wraps.
"You'll just have watch this space," says Jane. "Or better still sign up now and get involved."
Anyone can take the first steps to learn Māori art forms in performance, painting, carving or weaving, free with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
The education provider offers fee-free course across seven Auckland and Northland sites, starting late July and early August.
Visit www.twoa.ac.nz/MaoriArts for more information and to register your interest today.
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