Dynamic Dance Studio principal Laura Cameron said she was proud to announce three dancers will be heading to the national competition for DanceStar in Queensland.
Stawell's Bonnie Mellor, 15, is the youngest from the school to go through to nationals, came second in both her lyrical and jazz auditions and will also go to nationals in the glee category.
Bonnie came third in the 2018 national DanceStar competition for singing and has been participating since 2015. The 2020 competition was cancelled due to lockdown, much to the dancer's disappointment.
But the dancers have all pushed on to reach the 2021 DanceStar nationals.
"The dancers were so determined," Ms Cameron said.
"Especially with everything going on, it was really nice they actually had the opportunity to perform. They do work exceptionally hard."
"I'm extremely proud of their commitment to dancing."
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Two dancers from the Old Skool section, Emma Blackie, 19 and Alicia Linsley, 19,will also head to the nationals.
Emma came second in the lyrical audition and jazz audition.
Alicia came third in three categories, lyrical solo, which was her choreography, lyrical audition and jazz audition. This will be Alicia's first time at the nationals DanceStar competition.
Ms Cameron explained that the dance competition had two areas: a pre-learned routine and the other type is called an "audition", where dancers have just 20 minutes to learn a brand new routine.
"The auditions work a little bit differently, they are based on technique," she said.
"The dancers learn a routine with a choreographer for 20 minutes.
"You then go and perform the routine and are judged."
Being selected through audition shows the excellence of technique and ability to pick up choreography.
The state competition was held in Geelong on July 10 and 11 after the dancers were successful at regional level competitions earlier this year.
The routines were performed live, but the audition section was submitted online due to rescheduling issues.
"The auditions were done in studio or at home and the results were announced at the live event," Ms Cameron said.
"It was unusual."
Ms Cameron said the DanceStar competition utilised the backup of online to provide the opportunity for dancers to be involved by allowing them to submit dances if live events cannot take place.
To be ready for the upcoming event, the three Ararat dancers will be practising their techniques.
Ms Cameron was so proud of the efforts and perseverance of her students.
"After not having as many opportunities to perform they really wanted to go out and be successful," she said.
"They have put a lot into it; they have worked hard in the lead-up.
"It's exciting being back and performing live where they can."
Ms Cameron said given the location of Ararat; it's nice to see these dancers recognised as they compete against large metropolitan schools.
"It shows it doesn't matter where you are you can still succeed in your passion," she said.
"If you work hard at something you can still get far."
Best of luck to Bonnie, Emma and Alicia at the national DanceStar competition.
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