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Student Stories

ACG Strathallan’s K-Pop Queen

She does everything from ballet and jazz to hip hop and barefoot, and now ACG Strathallan student Arabella Morgan is hooked on the latest new craze, K-Pop.

Later this year the talented 12-year-old will dance her way into our living rooms as a contestant on TVNZ’s K-Pop Academy Season 2, a show which promises to transform a group of young New Zealanders into K-Pop (AKA Korean pop) stars.

“I’m super excited to be selected for the show. It will be my first time dancing on television and it’s such an amazing opportunity,” says the Year 8 student, who has been picked to co-captain her team for the show.

A genre of popular music originating in South Korea, K-Pop has taken New Zealand by storm, and Arabella is one of thousands of Kiwi teens caught up in the buzz.

“At first I didn’t really know much about K-pop but once I heard the type of music it was, I thought it was really fun and hyped. It’s a mix between jazz, funk and hip hop which is cool!”

Dancing since she was four, Arabella trains for up to 15 hours each week (or more when preparing for a competition), across a wide range of styles.

“I do most styles of dance but jazz is probably my favourite because you get to be sassy and it’s fun because there are so many types of jazz styles within the jazz genre.”

As well as dancing with Draper Academy of Dance, Arabella is a valued member of ACG Strathallan’s specialist dance and drama programme.

Says teacher Rebekah Brady, “Arabella has proven to be a talented and creative member of the dance and drama classroom. She has the ability to create authentic movement and contributes well within the choreographic process. A real team player, Arabella loves to get involved and has developed her dance technique and performance skills effectively throughout her time here at Strathallan.”

But a TV role is not all Arabella will be focussing on in 2021.

“This year my goals are to do my best, try my hardest and not give up – and hopefully qualify again for (and travel to!) Evolution Dance National Finals in Australia.”