DANCING CHAMPS: Emerald Academy Dance students with their trophies.
DANCING CHAMPS: Emerald Academy Dance students with their trophies. Photo: Contributed

Dancing talent shines bright

LOCAL dancers have blitzed the competition at the Mackay Dance Festival.

Emerald Dance Academy took 20 students to the festival and walked away with nearly a third of the prizes.

The festival, spanning four days, included competitors from as far north as Townsville and as far south as Brisbane.

Principal teacher Alex Davis said although the competition was tough, the dancers from the studio took it in their stride.

"It's always a lot of hard work,” Miss Davis said.

"We are very proud of all the dancers.

"They all did very well competing in open sections and we were lucky enough to win a number of overall awards.”

Among the award winners, were four dancers who received some of the most prestigious awards of the festival.

Daley Catip took home the Most Outstanding Performer (11 years), the Overall Most Outstanding (Intermediate) and Most Outstanding Choreography (Intermediate).

Miss Davis said at the age of 12, Daley had exceptional talent.

"He has the capacity to pursue a professional dancing career. He has the talent, commitment and athleticism that is required,” she said.

"He is an exceptional role model for other boys wanting to get into dance.”

Kyra Kent won the Overall Encouragement for Performer (8 years) while Charlee Howard was awarded the Most Outstanding Performer (9 years).

Katarina Parlato was awarded the Most Promising Performer (13 years) and the Overall Spirit of the Festival award, which is awarded to either a dancer or studio who the committee and adjudicators believe epitomises what they want from the festival.

Miss Davis said the educators explained they had seen Katarina at other competitions and she always supported and encouraged other competitors.

"She's always there to support everyone, no matter what dance studio they are from,” she said.

"We are really proud of the students and very happy with how they conducted themselves.”

You can see these dancers and many more at the Emerald Dance Eisteddfod from June 23 to 30.

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