NASDA provides first step to Broadway for upcoming musical star

The performing arts are shining bright at Westlake Girls, with the award-winning Socially Distanced Shakespeare and two of our students gaining places at prestigious acting schools for 2022.

You can read about Izzie Newton-Cross and her acceptance into Toi Whakaari in another article in this newsletter. First, we are proud to introduce Molly Dimond, who has been accepted into NASDA (school for musical theatre) to study for a New Zealand Certificate in Performing Arts – from Year 12!

“I’ve always had a strong passion for the performing arts,” says Molly.  “I thought instead of doing Year 13, it would be better for me to study at a performing arts college. That way, I’d be studying something I truly love and am good at.”

NASDA is based in Christchurch, so it will be a big move for this 17-year-old – but an exciting one.

“After I found out I was accepted into NASDA, I LITERALLY fell to the floor and started crying because of how happy I was,” she says.  “I was never encouraged in primary or intermediate school to keep singing or to keep dancing, so after getting accepted into NASDA, I felt proud of myself, because I had worked so hard to get to where I am now. I remember calling my mother  and saying ‘guess who’s going to Christchurch?’. It was simply one of the proudest and emotional moments of my performing arts life.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and learning new things about what I’m capable of. I’m very excited to challenge myself with new goals and can’t wait to perform on stage full-time. But what I’m most excited about, is how I’m going to study the one thing that makes me happy – performing. My talent shines the most when I’m performing live on stage. I love theatre, it’s what I hope my career will become in the future.”

After she has completed her one-year certificate, Molly plans to travel to New York to study for a three-year degree in musical theatre, and to perform on Broadway.

When it comes to being on stage, Molly is an ‘old-hand’. “I performed for the first time when I was only 5-years-old,” she says.  “It was a jazz dance competition and I knew immediately that performing is what I wanted to do. I have performed at Centrestage Theatre, playing Margot in Legally Blonde The Musical. I played leading lady Hannah Stevens, in The End, The Musical at Seed Theatre, and I have recently been given the part of Bombalerina in CATS The Musical.”

Molly is grateful for the support she received from Westlake. “I’d like to give a shoutout to the Drama Department and Ms Cannan. Ms Cannan has supported me all throughout my time at Westlake. She is the reason I performed in my first musical and she is someone I can always count on. I would also encourage students to give drama a chance, it’s fun, educational, and a subject you can always look forward to. Coming from someone who used to be “the shy kid,” the subject has taught me so much about myself.

“To all my fellow Westlake girls, do something that makes you feel alive! Do something that makes you smile or something that makes you happy. Go with your gut, and do what you love.”