Established in 1993, UCanDance is a social club with a longstanding passion for all things dance, whether it be partner, solo, or group choreographies! We dance, we socialize, we have fun, and we are open to everyone!

Our Purpose

UCanDance is here to give students and non-students alike access to the world of dance in a fun and affordable manner. We strive to create a safe space where people can de-stress from Uni life and build connections with other like-minded people while getting groovy! What better place than the dance floor?

Our Values

Our People – 2024 Exec

President – Rebecca

If you hear an odd noise at class, that’s probably me, it’s what I do. I also love to dance and have dabbled in a range of styles. In recent years I’ve helped out UCanDance as a teacher, then joined the exec last year and have the honor of leading the exec in 2024. In my spare time I look after people’s pets, get crafty and indulge my inner nerd. The dance floor is my happy place and I’d love to share it with you!

Vice President / Promotions Officer – Tess

Hi! I’m Tess, I’m in my final year of engineering but I still have time to dance. UCanDance is my escape from Uni struggles and has never failed to brighten my day. Fun Fact: I wasn’t big on country music until I started Line dancing.

Secretary – Roz

Kia Ora, I’m Roz! I’m a fourth year Civil Engineering student at UC and this is my third year dancing with UCanDance and my second year on the exec. My Fun Fact: I’m ambi-dance-trous, which means I get to be bad at leading AND following!

Treasurer – Scott

Howdy, I’m Scott. I’m a second year Computer Engineer, who joined UCanDance in 2023 through friends, and decided to come back in 2024. In my spare time, I’m either running, writing stories, or (trying to) work on upcoming assignments.

Safety Officer, Harassment Officer – Ethan

Hi! I’m Ethan, a 2nd year Mechanical Engineering student at UC (a.k.a. a lego addict). I started out with ballroom dancing when I lived in Auckland but absolutely ADORE the social dancing at UCanDance! My Fun Fact: I’m learning swordfighting!

Head of Teaching Committee – Felix

I’m Felix, studying the BPsycSc and planning on joining the defence force as a psychologist. I’m a proud plant dad and RAV Vast drum owner. I’ve danced pole, ballet, jazz, hoop, and acro (and contemp) before learning the cool dance styles UCD offered last year. Looking forward to another year of discovery 🙂

Social Representative, Harassment Officer – Sarah

Hiii, i’m Sarah! I’m in my second year studying geology. Dancing has always been a huge passion for me and UCanDance has helped me keep it going. My fun fact: eating olives make me happy.

Webmaster – Brooke

Hello. I’m Brooke and a third year Computer Science major at UC. I joined UCanDance in 2023 and found an amazing community which I am happy to now be a part of. My Fun Fact: In the summer I enjoy water-skiing and biscuiting at Lake Rotoiti in Nelson.

Our History

From humble beginnings in 1993 UCanDance grew into a thriving hub of dance and social connections.

Past members will fondly remember Fuego dance parties, Modern Jive Parties, Bike Rally’s, weekends in Hanmer Springs, and so much more. Check out the gallery for some photos we found in the archives.

In 2023 the club celebrated with a 30th Anniversary Ball. We almost didn’t make it to 30 years – thanks Covid! But with the hard work of some dedicated people, UCanDance made it through and is thriving once more.

UCanDance wouldn’t be what it is today without the input of some very special life members…

Andrew Lintott

Andrew Lintott is one of the founding members of the club. He has been a member since 1994, a past president (1995-1997 and 2003) and an active teacher, organiser and club member for much of the history of the club. Andrew was instrumental in bringing Latin dance styles to UCanDance and he pioneered much of the class syllabi. Andrew has always been an advocate of the social side of the club and this philosophy has become key to the club’s success. Andrew was given life membership in 1999 for his ongoing and diligent commitment to UCanDance.

Matt Smillie

Matt joined the club in 1997, becoming president for two years in 1998-99. He was also the club’s most experienced MJ teacher for several years. During his time with UCanDance he contributed huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm, including updating the teaching videos, helping to organise Fuego and other events, and being involved in almost every aspect of the club. Matt now works as a materials specialist in Wellington with his lovely wife and son. Matt’s dedication to the club saw him made a life member in 2002.

Hemon Day

Hemon is a long-time contributor to the club, joining in 1998 and becoming president in 2001. A fantastic dancer and teacher and the brilliant mind behind many of the technical effects used at Fuego. Hemon contributed to the club in countless ways, and always with good humour and a positive attitude. Hemon was given life membership in 2002.

Janna van Hasselt

Janna was a long time committee member (1999-2003) and served as both secretary and vice president during her time with the club. She was a very popular teacher both for Latin and MJ, and she contributed her creativity in many ways including designing the club logo: “The Gumby and Ribbon” later shortened to “Gibbon”. She also took charge of decorations at many events including Fuego and gave her time and energy on many many occasions. Janna was awarded life membership in 2004 and is currently living between New Zealand and the Netherlands pursuing her career as an artist.

Sarah Moore

Sarah joined the club in 2000 and was soon involved in just about all of the club’s activities. She served on committee from 2001-2003. A natural dancer and excellent teacher, she remained involved until her move to the UK in 2007. Sarah developed a high level of skill as a dancer and helped coach and choreograph the club’s first proper dance troupe. It’s impossible to sum up all of the many ways she contributed to the club except to say that, like all life members, the club would not be the way it is now without her. Sarah was given life membership in 2007.

Rosa Slack

Rosa joined UCanDance in 2004 and never looked back. Four years on committee, with two as president and one as secretary, firmly cemented Rosa’s name in UCanDance history. Her dedication to the job saw several new events and policies created which not only simplified the often tedious in-class processes but also ensured members’ enjoyment of club activities. Even after retiring from committee Rosa continues to offer support to subsequent committees. For this dedication, Rosa was granted life membership in 2008.

Raphael Nolden

Raph joined UCanDance way back in 2002 having been dragged along by a friend. Like many others it wasn’t long before he became hooked and began teaching and offsiding in classes. Raph served four years on committee, two as vice president, and has continued to support the club’s activities wherever he can. Two of Raph’s most significant contributions to the club are the aerials workshops he ran from 2007 to 2010 and the annual dance competitions which focus heavily on the fun side of dancing. For his commitment to the club, Raph was awarded life membership in 2010.

Michael Adams

Michael joined UCanDance in 2005 and served on committee in 2006. Behind the scenes, he’s been something of a tech magician. He created the current back end to our website and has personally hosted it since 2006, also helping implement several new features in recent times. For years, he’s printed us free tickets for our major events and given us use of his online ticketing software. He’s been heavily involved in the tech side of Fuego, pretty much running the tech desk for several years. Michael’s other contributions are too many to list, but include assistance with making teaching videos, teaching Modern Jive, acting as photographer at several big events, and much more. For his contributions, Michael was awarded life membership in 2011.

Stephen Fitchett

Stephen joined UCanDance in 2008 and served on committee for two years: as Treasurer in 2010, where he oversaw a recovery of the club’s finances, and as President in 2011, where he led the club through a successful post-earthquake recovery. During his time in the club Stephen has invested significant time in the complete redevelopment of the club’s infrastructure. These contributions include redesigning the club’s website, developing a member management and newsletter system, creating the club’s information server, and developing a library of club rules and policies. Stephen continues to advise committees, and possesses a near-encyclopaedic knowledge of the club’s history and workings. For his continued dedication, and in recognition of the many improvements he has brought to the club, Stephen was awarded life membership in 2013.

Michael Hobbs

Michael joined UCanDance in 2007, serving on general committee in 2009 and then as President in 2010. Following his time on committee he continued to assist in numerous ways, both as a respected teacher and behind the scenes. Michael’s contributions include the creation of new rueda and bachata syllabi, the redevelopment of the salsa syllabus, and contributions to teacher training, videos, and assessment. For his sustained commitment to the club, Michael was awarded life membership in 2013.

Christian Johan Jacob

Christian joined UCanDance in 2009. His passion for dance saw him serving on general committee in 2011 and 2012. Following 2012, he continued to assist on door duty and behind the scenes (establishing the misunderstood idea that he was still a committee member). His love for Latin dancing, particularly, Merengue saw him become known for his shimmy shine, which he incorporated in numerous dance styles. When not dancing or talking to people, he was either digging himself into holes or desperately attempting to protect his car from numerous pranks. For his dedication to the club, Christian was awarded Life Membership in 2016.

Lauren Selina

Lauren, ex-club president (2016 & 2018) and longtime Modern Jive teacher, is one of those people that doesn’t seem to know the meaning of “day off”. When she isn’t dancing you can find her in the ocean, defending her shared title of “Best Articulate Player” in the club, or working with various NGOs. Lauren was made a Life Member in 2023.

Still have Questions? Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions Page.