Mason Cone shows his expression in the 9 Years Modern/Lyrical at the Grafton Eisteddfod.
Mason Cone shows his expression in the 9 Years Modern/Lyrical at the Grafton Eisteddfod.

COVID can’t stop the eisteddfod beat

IT MAY look different to every other year, but for the dance section at the Grafton Eisteddfod, the show will go on.

With many other events cancelled, the four-person committee has worked tirelessly to comply with COVID-19 regulations, and will run a modified event from September 26 after postponing their usual April date earlier in the year.

“We’ve changed a lot of things, and we can only do what we can do,” organiser Di Welch said.

“It will be almost like a trial run, as we can’t envision things changing between now and April next year.”

>>> RELATED: The show goes on for dancers

The biggest change for the competition will be the absence of the glittering costumes that sparkle on the stage, with competitors to compete in leotards and tights, with skirts/shorts or trousers for men allowed in some cases for modesty.

Ms Welch said this was done to reduce the need for change room facilities at the venue.

“We’ve seen other events where people were getting changed outside, and we didn’t want having kids out in the carpark being changed in view of everyone,” she said.

“At the end of the day, it’s about the dancing and not the costume — and people have been very understanding of that.”

Isla Newman moves across the stage in the 9 Years Modern/Lyrical at the Grafton Eisteddfod.
Isla Newman moves across the stage in the 9 Years Modern/Lyrical at the Grafton Eisteddfod.

Competitors will be restricted to within a 150km radius of Grafton to comply with health regulations and refunds have been offered to competitors who fall outside the rules.

Ms Welch said it had been a lot of work to offer the eisteddfod, and said it would’ve been easy to say it was too hard and not do it.

“I want to give the kids an opportunity to dance,” she said. “The kids have had so many disappointments this year — and especially for the ones if it’s their last year of dancing we’re just trying to give them some normality.”

Pamela Cramp will step in as adjudicator after their original judge Lindy Whalley was unable to come because she lives inside Queensland.

The usual groups day will not be held due to social-distancing requirements, and extensive information can be found on the Grafton Eisteddfod Facebook page.

Layla Kruger-Howell stretches out in the 9 Years Modern/Lyrical at the Grafton Eisteddfod.
Layla Kruger-Howell stretches out in the 9 Years Modern/Lyrical at the Grafton Eisteddfod.


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