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Dancing tribute to Dennikia

Berkeley Institute students gathered last night to continue their work on a tribute in memory of their friend, Dennikia Lambert.

The 14-year-old S1 student loved dance, and made a second home of the same rehearsal room where, to the tune of Beyoncé's I Was Here, her fellow students practised their steps.

Dennikia's funeral on Monday, at the Heritage Worship Centre in Hamilton, will be a hard occasion for all — but the rehearsals show the therapeutic power of dance, reflected teacher Nikia Manders.

Students of various ages and abilities have given up their holiday time to create a fitting performance for the service.

“We decided on this song together — it reminds me a lot of her personality,” Ms Manders said.

“She touched a lot of people; she was loving and caring, and that's why so many students are participating.”

Dennikia's life was claimed on the eve of the Cup Match holidays, in a traffic accident that made her the eighth road fatality of this year.

Some of the students joining the dance have already graduated, in a ceremony at the same church hall earlier this summer.

Dennikia brought life and energy to her classmates, Ms Manders said, making the loss “a huge miss” when they return in September.

“She was always in this room, and she was a beauty to watch on stage,” her teacher said.

“She sometimes assisted with the S2 class and helped students a year above her. They appreciated her just participating.”

For 14 teenagers to give up holiday time was a measure of their dedication, Ms Manders added.

“Some are beginners, some are advanced dancers — but they're all doing it for her.”

Moving tribute: Berkeley students prepare a dance tribute to Dennikia Lambert with teacher Nikia Manders, far right. (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

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Published August 05, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 05, 2016 at 7:39 am)

Dancing tribute to Dennikia

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