Ocean Shores Public students backstage at the Far North Coast Dance Festival.
Ocean Shores Public students backstage at the Far North Coast Dance Festival.

Dancing to the future

IF ACTORS love the smell of greasepaint, then the 1400 dance pupils performing in the Far North Coast Dance Festival could develop an addiction to glitter and hairspray.

But what organisers of the 25-year-old festival want to give the young dancers is a strong sense of self-respect.

Kingscliff High School teacher Robyn Ludecke has been organising the festivals since 1985.

“Getting up in front of an audience and hearing the applause gives the kids confidence, self-esteem,” Ms Ludecke said.

“It’s also a chance for creative arts teachers to showcase what we do.”

Yesterday was the first day of the two-day event held in the Lismore Workers Club.

More than 30 schools from the Tweed to Evans Head are taking part.

Yesterday morning, hundreds of girls and a few dozen brave boys, aged five to 18, were busy adjusting costumes and applying make-up ahead of the matinee.

With the arrival of school league tables, the Australian Education Union has expressed fears the creative arts could disappear from school curriculums, as more emphasis is placed on reading, writing and maths.

But Ms Ludecke said dance was an important subject and a Year 12 elective.

“Not all students here are going to go on to be professional dancers,” she said. “But they will go to job interviews and through performing they learn to promote and express themselves.”

How important is the hairspray and glitter? “We don’t just have glitter for glitter’s sake. The costume must indicate the concept of the dance,” she said



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