Southern Cross High School students Brooke Hodge, Bianca Wilson, Elina Kalns and Amelia Perris, who will be dancing in the Far North Coast Dance Festival.
Southern Cross High School students Brooke Hodge, Bianca Wilson, Elina Kalns and Amelia Perris, who will be dancing in the Far North Coast Dance Festival.

25 years of booty shaking

Students from schools all over the North Coast are settling their nerves as they get ready to don colourful costumes and get on the stage to perform their choreographed moves for the Far North Coast Dance Festival 2010.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the dance festival and styles from tap to ballet will be performed by hundreds of students from kindergarten to year 12.

Festival director Robyn Ludeke said that since the first year of the event, the festival has grown from having 60 young dancers performing to 1400.

“Some of the students are studying dance for the HSC and it’s important that the event is not a competition,” Robyn said. “The students learn from each other. They come and perform to the best of their ability in a professional environment outside of school. It is more than a show, it demonstrates what is happening in the school system.”

Bianca Wilson, a Year 7 student from Southern Cross High School in Ballina, said she has been dancing for nine years and that the dance festival was the highlight of the school year.

“I love dancing. Dancing lets you express what you feel, whether you are happy or angry,” Bianca said. “I came to Southern Cross High because of the dancing – other schools don’t start dancing until Year 9. It has made me even more inspired to be a dancer.”

Robyn Ludeke said that performing in the festival was good for the children’s self esteem.

“They are developing confidence and feeling good about themselves. If they can get up there and perform, they will do well in job interview,” Robyn said. “It can be a logistical nightmare though. We had 65 kids in one item this morning and we had to find safe ways to get them on and off the stage.”

The dance festival will happen over May 31 and June 1 at the Lismore Workers Club. There will be four performances at 11am and 7pm each day, with each matinee different and the evening performances a repeat of each day’s matinee. Evening tickets are available from the club and matinee tickets from Kingscliff High School. For more information, contact Robyn Ludeke on 6674 9777 or 0411 146 369.


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