Winning performance inspired by battles with mental health

Cashmere High School students were awarded second place for their performance at Show Quest 2018.

Battling against depression and anxiety served as inspiration for an ‘emotional’ dance.

A group of students from Cashmere High School were placed second, after Darfield High School, at this year’s Showquest in Christchurch.

On Tuesday, year 12 students Sophie Harris and Dani Damm helped lead their 40-strong team in a dance which focused on mental health.

“We wanted to show a day in the life of someone who suffers from depression and anxiety,” Dani said.

“We wanted to show that it was okay to have good days and bad days, and that you can get through the bad days, it’s okay that they’re there.”

The pair said they wanted to communicate through their dance that it can affect anyone at any time.

“We wanted to get the audience to really feel it as well,” Sophie said.

“It’s not something that you can just dance through and it’s not something that you can just hope will go away and clear up, there is a real battle behind it.”

They said there were “quite a few injuries” during the nine weeks of rehearsals, including one girl who hurt her knee and ended up watching the performance from a wheelchair in the audience.

But in spite of a few bumps in the road, Sophie said the group were ‘stoked’ to be a part of Showquest.

“Even before performing and getting second place, we were all pretty stoked with the way it turned out. It was emotional . . . we had a bit of a cry before we went on stage.”

And Dani said she was ‘amazed’ by the performance first place winners Darfield High School.

“Darfield, oh my gosh their piece was incredible. They really did shine that night, it was amazing.”

Showquest was staged across the country this year, with an overall national winner to be announced in September.