Ballet madness

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Waiting for your turn

Waiting to go on stage

I spent about six days of the last week at the Albury-Wodonga Festival of Sight and Sound (formerly the Albury Eisteddfod), one of the biggest youth performing arts competitions in the region.  Two of those days were spent volunteering, and the other four were spent screaming and clapping for my sister as she competed her little heart out against some extremely talented dancers.  It was great to watch and it is an excellent opportunity for these kids to build their confidence and showcase their talents.

Britt

My sister Brittany looking gorgeous.

When I was a kid and a teenager, I competed in the eisteddfod every year in both speech and drama and dance sections, and some years I also competed in the music section (for flute) when there wasn’t scheduling clashes.  While I was far more successful in the drama section, given that I was probably the fattest little dancer in town, I enjoyed competing in the eisteddfod immensely and people were always supportive and friendly.

But stage mothers do reign supreme at times.  My mum, who is very used to being backstage at these events, takes a pretty laid back approach to it all and supports all of the kids and is super positive… for others, the level of competitiveness makes me wonder if they’ve mistaken this regional eisteddfod for the olympic games.

Britt and Mum

Mum makes some last minute costume adjustments.

There are always scandals, runs in tights, missing false eyelashes, ribbons coming off shoes, costume malfunctions and judging upsets.  Nerves run wild and meltdowns or forgetting routines on stage are always a constant threat.  But the drama is all part of the game.  At the end of the day, its about what ends up on stage… beautiful performances, exciting performances that get the audience clapping and cheering and some kids doing better than they ever thought they could.

So I guess the point of this post is to say that getting out there and supporting the youth arts, especially in regional areas, is a really great thing to do.  Even if all the kids on stage aren’t technically amazing at their chosen art, the confidence they could gain from having audience support could help them in so many ways in their lives… and you’d be surprised at just how good some of these kids are.  The tickets are always affordable, so get in there and support them.

Britt

But just quietly, this kid was the best.  Not that I’m biased or anything like that…

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