Julia Creek dancers get feet dirty

Julia Creek pirouetted its way to major milestone this month when the tiny bush town hosted its first major dance competition. 

Entrants from four different dance studios performed 120 Solos, 9 Duos, 2 groups in varied styles of dance including jazz, tap, classical ballet, contemporary/ lyrical and song and dance.

Young dancers had the opportunity to showcase their individual style and creativity as 11 entrants competed for the title of “Creative Juices Champion”, a choreographic bursary where dancers created their own routines to a set piece of music.

Among all the talented dancers was Amity Fietz who was the recipient of several major awards including Promising Performer, second place in the 2nd place in the Creative Juices Champion and commended in the Junior Overall Champion.

Amie Pemble took out the Creative Juices Bursary  as well as being the recipient of the Senior Overall Champion.

The Senior Encouragement award was awarded to Mattea Smith and Rose Elliot won the Junior Encouragement award.

Recognised for her bright smile across the six sections she competed in,six-year-old Bronte Pratt won the Spirit of the Festival.

The two day festival was brushed with strong sense of country hospitality and enabled dancers to compete as well as participate in masterclasses.

The competitors were broken up into senior and junior age groups to learn from City Studios principal Natalie Griffiths and Branches Performing Arts principal Amy Tinning.

The juniors spent more than an hour working on jazz technique and tumbling with Natalie Griffiths, followed by an hour classical ballet training with Amy Tinning.

The senior dancers also spent an hour and a half with Ms Griffiths working on jazz technique and one hour open contemporary class with Mrs Tinning.

The competition was strong and spirits were high with a lot of support and positive feedback given by many who attended the very first Dirty Feet Outback Dance Festival.

“The support shown by both competitors and sponsors is a true testament to the success of the event that hopes to be marked firmly on the outback dance calendar in 2019,” event co-ordinator Amy Tinning said. 

Mrs Tinning said the festival embraced the importance of creating opportunity for regional dancers to cultivate creativity through the art of dance. 

“The professional industry is full of people from every corner of the world, with diverse backgrounds and I would really like to think that many of you who have performed here today may be among the future dance stars of tomorrow, each with your own valuable contribution to make.”

Guest judge Natalie Griffiths travlled from Townsville and said she was honoured when she was asked to adjudicate the festival and have the opportunity to work with the talented children of the bush in her masterclass.

Ms Griffiths said she looks forward to returning with some of her own students to support the event in the years to come. Natalie’s key message to all the eager dancers and parents was that she doesn’t teach dance to help children ‘fit in’, she believes dance creates leaders.

Dirty Feet Outback Dance Festival premiered with great success.