FAMILY AFFAIR: Six of the best for dance eisteddfod
A QUICK glance at the Grafton Eisteddfod dance section program will see six different names pop in front of the surname Cone.
The six brothers and sisters will compete at the eisteddfod, starting Saturday, and in the leadup to the week-long competition, spare a thought for their mum Tanya who has has to keep track of 24 different outfits.
"Lucky I'm a good sewer," she laughed.
For the youngest two, Amali, 3, and Jye, 5, this is their first time on the big stage, while the rest have danced with Studio 1 Academy of Dance, starting with the eldest Elle.
"When we used to go out to dinner, Elle liked to dance, and everyone said 'Get her into dance lessons', so we put her in," Tanya said.
"And then her brother decided he wanted to tap dance because Elle tap danced and it just spiralled from there."
This year's eisteddfod has a packed program of more than 1300 dances across eight days and nights with students coming from 11 dance studios.
This year's adjudicator is acclaimed dance teacher and choreographer, Rowena Sanderson. Rowena started dance at the age of two and has been a dance teacher and choreographer for more than 30 years.
This year, the eisteddfod is part of the valley-wide plunge festival and is an opportunity to see the up-and-coming dancers show off the work, and build a confidence that Tanya says has been a major part of her kid's dance journey.
"They gain such confidence from it; Rylan before he started wouldn't even talk in front of his class - now he comes to dance class and steals the microphone off the teacher," she said.
"There's no sheep stations, the kids now like to get on stage, and that's a great thing."