24 August, 2022
Highs for Lowood dance troupe at Eisteddfods
LOWOOD State High School’s (LSHS) dance troupe has picked up a series of first and runner-up placings and highly commended awards in a range of Eisteddfods.
Most recently, the Lowood secondary school earned first place in Musical Theatre in the Ipswich Performers Dance Eisteddfod, and also gained the highly commended award in the Contemporary and Hip Hop categories.
A few days earlier, Lowood came second in Musical Theatre at the Beenleigh Eisteddfod.
At the Ipswich Junior Eisteddfod in June, Lowood gained the highly commended award in Musical Theatre and Hip Hop, as well as the Encouragement Award.
Several days later, Lowood came first in Musical Theatre and second in Hip Hop and Student Choreography at the Brisbane Performing Arts Challenge.
LSHS’s dance troupe has comprised 20 students ranging from years seven to 12, while other competing schools have ranged from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast.
LSHS dance troupe teacher Kristie-Lee Doyle said most of these schools – public and private – have Dance Excellence programs in their curriculum which allow the students to develop their skills and rehearse, while LSHS does not have these programs.
Ms Doyle said the Lowood students had rehearsed since March after auditioning for a position within the troupe.
“Students rehearse at lunch times, after school, weekends and during school holidays,” she said.
“Most weeks, students rehearse approximately six hours.
“Forming a dance troupe and competing at Eisteddfods is very exciting for our students.
“Although the main aspect of Eisteddfods is to compete against other schools, our students engage in this extra curriculum event for the joy and happiness that it brings.”
The Musical Theatre dance was a remix of songs from the musical We Will Rock You, with this performance incorporating singing and dancing.
This has included solo vocal performances from Cobee Darcy, Madison Roberts, Jade Taylor and Candice Pattemore-Spina.
The Student Choreography section allowed students to enter routines that were purely choreographed by themselves, not teachers.
“The entire dance troupe was thrilled with the awards we received and it is true testament to the effort and hard work invested by the students and their teachers,” Ms Doyle said.
“When competing against other schools, (the) majority of other students have had years of previous dance training at studios.
“For our students, (the) majority of them have only ever participated in dance as a part of their curriculum at school.
“So to receive these awards is outstanding.”
Ms Doyle said the LSHS dance troupe students had been very dedicated and great to work with.
“For some of these students, they have never performed on stage, or competed, so it has been a very nerve racking, but rewarding experience,” she said.
“It has been wonderful to see how much the students have improved, and every time they have been on stage they have impressed us with how much effort and joy they bring, and also perform better than the last time.”
Ms Doyle and fellow dance troupe teacher Natalie Walker put in many extra hours, and missed lunch breaks to ensure the students could have the best experiences at the Eisteddfods.
Ms Doyle said it had also been very nostalgic for her and Miss Walker, having competed in many Eisteddfods themselves.
“(We) understand the benefits that students get from this experience and the joy that it brings to them,” Ms Doyle said.
Ms Doyle thanked the school community for its support, and also thanked LSHS staff Loren Boundy, Kiera O’Neill and Belinda McCrory.
Ben’s Bakery Lowood, M & K Butcher Brothers, (Senator) Paul Scarr and (Member for Lockyer) Jim McDonald were also thanked for their sponsorship and donations.