Excitement as eisteddfod begins


Excitement as eisteddfod begins

Trio of tutus: Molly McKenzie, Heidi Freeman and Jemma Douglas

WITH more dancers, more categories and more prizes, this year’s Great Southern Star Eisteddfod kicked off today (Friday) at Leongatha’s Mesley Hall.

The show will be filled with 550 dancers from 11 schools from areas including Warragul, Sale, Paynesville and Melbourne, as well as local troupes.

The Eisteddfod continues all weekend, starting each day from 8am until late in the evening.

President of the eisteddfod committee, Tanya Bolam, began working tirelessly from the completion of last year’s event, in a bid to make this one as big, if not bigger than the last.

“We’ve got more dancers than last year. It was tough but we actually had to knock people back,” she said.

And of course, more dancers means more awards.

The Mirboo North and District Community Bank will be offering two prestigious prizes, including the rising star award and best troupe award.

“The rising star award is huge,” Tanya said. “It comes with a summer school scholarship, a trophy and $100. It’s a big thing.”

“We thank the bank for their generous sponsorhip.”

As well as the best young star, the eisteddfod adjudicator Mia Perry will be awarding six separate scholarships to deserving dancers.

The scholarships are to Melbourne based dance schools, and are more than just a reward for good dancing.

“It’s a big opportunity for rural students to get a chance to dance in these reputable Melbourne dance schools,” Tanya said.

“The dancers make a lot of friends at those events, just as they do at our own eisteddfod here.

“Last year they all made a new friend.”

Winners are grinners: Grace Hilton and Renee Freeman celebrate their silver medals.

As well as making friends, the children will get a chance to learn new dance moves and techniques with the help of choreographers BJ and Hilton of So You Think You Can Dance fame.

The duo will be running two dance workshops, as well as performing tomorrow evening (Saturday).

BJ will also co-adjudicate with Mia Perry on Saturday evening.

Tanya was grateful from the support of the community, as well as all of the sponsors.

“We’d like to send a big thank you to Tony and Helen from the Great Southern Star, our major sponsors,” she said.

“Once again they have given us outstanding support.” 

The eisteddfod was bolstered by the South Gippsland Shire Council, who donated $4000 as part of the Community Grants program.

“We were fortunate again this year to receive financial support from the council and we are very grateful for their ongoing assistance,” Tanya said.

“We’re encouraging families to enjoy the local attractions of Leongatha and surrounding areas throughout the weekend.”

“The eisteddfod is a community event and we recognise the value of the support from our local community.”

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Posted by on Aug 5 2011. Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Community, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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