The little girls in the Under 8s division from Heart of Dance have been busy over the last two weeks. They competed in the Byron Bay Eisteddfod and won their division, and then last weekend they backed up in Lismore – along with hundreds of girls from all over the Northern Rivers Region – and came third.
It’s a big deal for these children, who put their hearts into their performance. But, behind the scenes teachers and parents put hours into preparation, transport, costumes, make up and everything else required to create the ultimate dancing dream.
While for most of the children, it probably won’t last, dance is still a huge part of growing up for little girls (and some little boys) and the tutu is still the costume of choice both on and off the stage.
According to Yvette Avard, whose daughter Sara Ryden is part of the Under 8s, it’s the parents and dance teachers (like Kerryn Kernaghan and Keely Bates) who create a powerful and supportive network at these events.
‘Kerryn, who owns Heart of Dance just never stops,’ says Yvette. ‘She puts so much into the school and the events, none of this could ever happen without her.’
‘I always said I didn’t want to be a “Dance Mum”, says Yvette, ‘but honestly the people involved are fantastic and the environment is one of support and team work. It’s great for the girls, and important for their confidence and growth.’