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2008 Successful year for Craze Dance Academy

    This year has been another huge year for the students, parents and teachers. It started early in the year with students being very successful at Grafton, Armidale and Coffs Harbour Eisteddfods.

    They again proved their high quality and entertainment value at the 60th Inverell Eisteddfod in August after being awarded the “Highest Mark for Groups” and the “Group Aggregate Award”. Teacher and principal of Craze Dance Academy, Laura King, said “I was extremely proud of all my students.  They worked hard and it was great to see some children get placed, but I was most proud of the sportsmanship and enthusiasm they showed toward other dancers!”

         Each term children from the various schools around Inverell make their way down to the Craze Dance Academy studios to participate in Dance for Sport and some even learn routines for upcoming events.
        Ross Hill Public School and Macintyre High School were both selected to perform their routines at the State Dance Festival in Sydney. “I enjoy teaching dance for the schools,” Laura said “as it is the only chance for some children to learn dance and perform for an audience.  To see their eyes light up is a huge reward.”

        Also performing at a State level this year was Erin Longhurst. She was accepted into the State Dance Ensemble, which includes only a small, select group of students from NSW. This group meet regularly in Sydney to learn and rehearse routines then perform them at events such as State Dance Festival and Schools Spectacular.

        Another huge success has been that of Daisy Sonter-Kelso. Daisy travelled to Port Macquarie in August to compete in the Marianne McIntyre Memorial International Scholarship. She competed against approximately 100 other dancers from around the country. With only a handful of scholarships to be won, Daisy came home winning one to Melbourne. She will travel down in January, 2009 to attend the one week summer school at the National Theatre Ballet School.

        In September, Laura King travelled to Brisbane to catch up with Craze Dance Academy’s and Inverell’s Rikki Mason. Rikki has spent 2009 at The Australian Dance Performance Institute. He has been going from strength to strength, passing major ballet exams, and performing with the Queensland Youth Ballet.  He is currently working hard towards a scholarship in New Zealand for early next year.

        Craze Dance Academy also dominated at the latest CAPERS performance held in Tamworth. Laura Said, “It was great to sit back on the Saturday night and be the proud teacher of many of the talented students.  Inverell should also be very proud.” At the CAPERS performance Daisy Sonter-Kelso and Steve Williams performed a classical duo, Holly Mackie a modern solo with Melanie Dyer singing, Macintyre High School performed as a contemporary group, Megan Longhurst sang a solo, Steve Williams was in the boys’ ensemble, Craze Dance Academy performed “Romeo & Juliet”, and the NSW ensemble included 11 Craze Dance Academy students of the 25 dancers involved. Laura also choreographed one of the combined school ensembles, with approximately 450 children on the stage. CAPERS was a huge success!

        The students are now eagerly awaiting their ballet exam results. At the start of November, some students undertook their Royal Academy of Dance Ballet Exams here in Inverell. Major students, Daisy Sonter-Kelso, Vanessa Hunt, Erin Longhurst and Eliza Newmarch travelled to Sydney for theirs. 

        In the meantime, they all have plenty to be excited about with the Christmas production only a week away! Students will be performing Alice in Wonderland for both the schools and the public.  Performances will be held from the 8th to the 13th December at the Inverell Town Hall.

        This will also be a time we will say good-bye and good luck to two Craze Dance Academy senior students, Eliza Newmarch and Steve Williams, who will both be heading off to Sydney to further their school and dance studies. Steve will be attending Newtown Performing Arts School and Eliza will finish her senior years at McDonald College of Performing Arts. She will join former student Kymberleigh Cowley.

    Read the article on the Inverell Times Website.

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