2 Minutes with ...


Every Thursday evening for an hour or so a bunch of enthusiastic women exercise to music ("Shake the Fat") in the hall at the Tawa Community Centre. Leading the way is Sara Scott and, as you'll read below, she's been doing so for around ten years, not all at the same venue.

Music and dance are an important part of Sara's life. It was her voluntary contribution to Tawa College's recent major production, "Standing Ovation", that helped make it the success that it was. She was the official choreographer (choreography - "the design or arrangement of a staged dance". That includes the use of props and other innovative ideas such as brooms, flippers, car tyres, costuming ideas, etc, which make all the difference to any given show or production.)

The choreography at last year's Tawa Music Festival was also Sara's responsibility. The vital role she plays in various musical and other productions in Tawa - "behind the scenes" to a large degree - contributes in no small way to their overall success. "Standing Ovation" won glowing praise internationally (well at least it did in Tawa) and credit has to be given to all involved - the performers themselves, the musical director, and that hard-working choreographer, Sara Scott. Long may she keep doing what she does so well!

Update: Sara Scott was again responsible for the "fantastic choreography" at the most recent Tawa Music Festival, aptly titled "Tawa Goes to Town", which took place at the Michael Fowler Centre in September 2010.

Where were you born, Sara?

Where did you grow up?
Tawa since the age of one.

What school(s) did you go to?
Redwood School (Tawa), Samuel Marsden forms 1-5, then to Tawa College for my 6th form year.

What is your line of work?
I went freelance dancing for four years before getting married and having kids. Then worked at the BNZ for 11 years. Taught dancing after work, did a couple of shows, started teaching aquarobics (adults). Worked 9 years part-time at Tawa Pool teaching aquarobics classes. Worked 11 years so far doing the same thing at Porirua and still there. Started "Shake the Fat" (women's aerobics) 10 years ago as part of a studio in Porirua, now been operating for 4 years in the Tawa Community Centre. I've taught classical ballet over the years as well.

What about family?
Married to David (electrician) with 3 boys and 1 girl.

What are your interests/hobbies?
Other than teaching dancing and aquarobics, "I've always loved choreography - that's been my main interest." Also gardening, and I love interior decorating ("painting rooms and moving furniture"). Having a laugh with people - "I've met a lot of people over the years through teaching their children. Some have become close friends."

How long have you lived in Tawa?
Pretty much all my life.

What do you think is great about Tawa?
I think the schools here are very good, and living in a community where people know each other is great (but sometimes it has its downsides too!). "The community support when we lost a child at one stage was great, with the Salvation Army and the kindergarten, etc all helping out."

And [she refers to her choreography role in Tawa College's recent "Standing Ovation" production - Ed.] it's nice knowing that the community thought you did a good job. "I put my absolute heart and soul into the major production rehearsals for ten weeks ... I tried to make those kids realise that what they were doing was fantastic."

What, if anything, would improve Tawa?
It would be good if all the schools in Tawa started at 9.30am on a Wednesday instead of just the College and Intermediate!

What is your favourite dessert?
Chocolate cheesecake.

Favourite sports team?
Love all sports, "Addicted to it", tennis, rugby, soccer, etc. "I wouldn't miss watching the All Blacks play and I never miss my son's games when he plays 1st 11 soccer."

Favourite musical group?
I love Abba, I love classical music, all sorts of music. "Abba is easy to sing along to, has a reasonable beat, and is good to dance to."

Favourite holiday destination in New Zealand?
Bay of Islands - Paihia & Russell. "I love it up there."

Favourite sayings?
"If at first you don't succeed, say 'stuff it' and try something else." To me that means that if something's not for you, try something else, move on, you can always go back ... "That's why I like choreography."

If you could meet any two or three people (alive or dead), who would they be?
Murray Mexted; Helen Clark; Miles Davis from Radio Sport - "I find him extremely interesting."

What three things would you take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
Music, suntan lotion, a bottle of wine.

What is one talent you would like that you do not have?
I'd like to be able to read music properly and to play the piano.

What is one talent you have that you could not do without?
Hearing music and knowing exactly what to do with it. That's my job really. "I've got an ear for it."

What accomplishments/achievements in your life give you the most satisfaction/pride?
The Tawa College production - "most definitely".
Coping with breast cancer - the reconstruction, losing my hair, etc. "Looking back it was pretty awful. Anybody who goes through that and copes with it should feel good about it."

What are three things you would like to do before you die?
Go to the Greek Islands.
I'd like to choreograph a major production at a different level to school level.
Go to Lords and see England and Australia play for the Ashes.

Compiled August 2009.

* November 2010 update:
Sara was also responsible for the choreography in "Tawa Goes to Town" in September 2010.

Other Tawa people