Orange eisteddfod dance program turns focus to groups | Photos

The countdown is over for the city’s dance lovers after one of the City of Orange Eisteddfod’s premier events commenced on Friday.

A twirl and a tap will kick things off when the first school group takes to the stage for the Dance Group Weekend at Orange Civic Theatre.

Eisteddfod committee member Michele Marriott said in the 17 years she’s been part of Orange’s dance community it’s gone from strength to strength, with the Eisteddfod dance weekend growing with it.

“It’s definitely gotten bigger and I think the standard has improved too,” said Mrs Marriott.

“The kids seem to put more hours in and the choreography has become more professional.”

Following the Orange and Bathurst school performances on Friday morning, groups of six-year-olds are set to steal the show from 5:30pm.

With them are lots of visitors who come from far and wide for the weekend.

City of Orange Eisteddfod committee member Michele Marriott

Mrs Marriott said the energy and the enthusiasm from the students, plus the wonderful feedback they received from the adjudicators was part of what kept them competing again and again.

“They come from all different schools and catch up with friends they’ve formed over the years,” she said.

“With them are lots of visitors who come from far and wide for the weekend.”

From Friday until Sunday night, groups ranging in size from four to 30 students will compete in all styles of dance, including jazz, ballet, modern, contemporary, tap, musical theatre and national character.

Mrs Marriott said while dance was very big in Orange and there were a lot of children who wanted to be involved, the message from the Eisteddfod organisers was winning was not the most important thing.

“It’s not about beating someone else, it’s about how you improve,” she said.

Her message to the young dancers who may be feeling the nerves ahead of the weekend was to try to relax.

“Take a deep breath, make sure you go to the toilet first and have fun,” Mrs Marriott said.

Once this weekend is wrapped up, the best six performances from each genre will take part in a scholarship dance off for prizes between $1000 and $2000 on Sunday, August 26.

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