62nd Grafton Dance Eisteddfod welcomes new faces
GRAFTON Eisteddfod saw some new faces yesterday with two studios taking part in the competition for the first time.
Coffs Harbour studio Carnivalé and Funky Moves Dance Studio from Byron Bay were among the 11 studios taking part in the eight-day competition at South Grafton High School.
Eisteddfod organiser Diana Welch said it was nice to see new faces at the competition.
"It's always good to have something different with some studios who have never been here before. They're all welcome," she said.
Mrs Welch said numbers at the eisteddfod were up on last year, proving the popularity of the competition.
"The eisteddfod goes for eight days now, and last year I had to add an extra day in to fit everything into the program," she said.
"Other sections of the eisteddfod aren't as popular, but dance is a different story.
"It's alive and well and growing each year.
"Even in the back of the program there's a list of all the kids, and there's well over 200 just doing solos, and they travel from as far as the Gold Coast, Macksville and Inverell and anywhere in between."
Mrs Welch said she was pleased to see so many people taking up dance and competing in a whole range of genres from ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and expressive.
"It just encourages kids and gives them confidence that will flow through their life," she said.
"If they've got to do things at school, they might be frightened to get up and perform or talk, but it might not be so scary if they've danced on stage before and they've got that confidence."