DANCERS from near and far have taken the Tamworth Town Hall stage this week for the annual Tamworth Eisteddfod.
The dance eisteddfod has been revived once again after a COVID-19 hiatus in 2020, and competitors didn't hesitate to sign up for the 2021 event.
Eisteddfod co-convenor Lucinda Burt said between 150-200 dancers were in the program from Wednesday to Monday.
"We have lots and lots of locals and we even have kids from down south in Berry, up north from Casino and even some from Sydney and North Willoughby," she said.
She said the committee was worried they wouldn't see big numbers after last year, but instead they were "overwhelmed".
"We've got the ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical. We get kids from everywhere and I think our thing is to offer all types of styles for all the kids that want to come so they have that variety," Ms Burt said.
This year's judge is Kelii Grauer, who's career spans more than 20 years. She has toured the world for musical theatre productions, performed alongside artists like Kylie Minogue, and much more.
"She was a last minute, she came to us with only three weeks notice because our other poor adjudicator broke her leg and had to have surgery, so Kelii was great and super excited to come down and help us and she's just been loved by everyone so far," Ms Burt said.
"She's got this great energy and gives the kids this amazing feedback. She doesn't just give them a piece of paper, she talks to them and explains to them why she's given those marks and how those kids can go on to improve."
So far, competitors have taken it slow in the classical improvisation solo section, danced alongside their classmates in the school group section, and shown off their flexibility in the acro section.
The dance eisteddfod culminates on Monday when the championships are held.
"The championships are for the kids that really want that extra bit, so we offer a cash prize and a trophy, so the kids have to meet a certain criteria before they enter," Ms Burt said.
"So for example, for the classical championship they have to have done a ballet and demi character in their own age section, and an improvisation, to be able to qualify to enter."
After this finishes, the music eisteddfod will kick off on Tuesday morning with the various school choir sections. There'll be solos sung in different languages, musical theatre solos, and of course youngsters playing all sorts of instruments.
For more information, visit the Tamworth Eisteddfod website.
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