THE countless hours sewing sequins onto costumes, preparing tulles and tutus, applying face make-up and rehearsals are finished, and the hundreds of competitors in the City of Grafton Eisteddfod have started, showcasing their talents.
At the South Grafton High School auditorium since Sunday, dance troupes from throughout the Clarence Valley and beyond have put on a performance that dance adjudicator Micheline di Salvatore described as 'beautiful'.
"And I think it will get better as we go along tonight and tomorrow as we get into the senior students," she said yesterday.
"There are some beautiful dancers and they have done a fantastic job with the costumes.
"They must have some very good mums."
Ms Salvatore has judged at Lismore, Port Macquarie and other larger eisteddfods, but this was her first trip to Grafton.
"This area seems very lucky," she said.
"You have very well trained students, which means there must be some very good teachers.
"They would match students from bigger towns to the north and south."
The dance section continues until Saturday.
Today's program is mostly solo performances, starting with 10 years and under.