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  • Writer's pictureJack Ward

Celebrating 10 years of dance

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.

ARARAT Dance Centre is returning to the Ararat Town Hall with a bang next weekend, staging its 10th Annual Concert and a special gala performance to celebrate a decade of dance.

PHOTO: Dancers (Back, L-R) Ebony Davidson, Amelia Kelly, studio owner, Karly Harris, and dancers (Front, L-R) Eliza Wigg and Maddison Potter will reflect on their 10 years at ADC during the gala performance. (Jack Ward/Ararat Advocate)

Students have been working hard in recent weeks to polish 60 routines across the performances, determined to not let another COVID-19 ridden year get the better of them.

Studio owner, Karly Harris, said while tackling a gala event in addition to the annual concert may seem overambitious in an already difficult climate, it is an exciting time for the dance centre.

“Looking back through the programs and DVDs at the things the kids have been able to achieve, from the teaching that I've done and all the teachers I've had over the years, it is really rewarding,” she said.

“Having it taken away a few times over the last two years, it's been really hard. Now that the doors are back open, and you see all the kids coming back through the doors, I know that it's worth it in the end.”

Ms Harris opened Ararat Dance Centre in 2012, having grown up dancing with her sisters which developed a natural love for the performing arts.

“I've always enjoyed dancing and I did assistant teaching when I was younger. I just wanted to continue that love of dance and pass it on to the younger generations,” she said.

The 10th Annual Concert features around 85 dancers who will perform across classical ballet, modern, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, tap and musical theatre genres.

The concert will be staged next Friday, November 19, at 6:15pm, and Saturday, November 20, at 2pm.

In addition, 60 current students will perform some much-loved routines from the past 10 years at a special gala performance on the following day, Sunday, November 21, at 2pm.

Ms Harris said students have been working exceptionally hard to perfect routines across the two performances, with some dancers performing in over 20 numbers across the concert and gala.

“It has been a really huge six weeks this term, trying to get everything prepared when they're still learning new routines, but also refreshing the gala routines,” she said.

“Their brains are overloaded but they're really enjoying the challenge of it and having lots of fun.”

Ms Harris said 20 students will be of particular focus during the concert and gala, having been at Ararat Dance Centre since its inception.

“It will be really nice to reflect on the ten years, and also recognise the achievements of those 20 students,” she said.

The audience capacity has been capped at 75 per cent for all performances. Tickets can be booked by messaging the Ararat Dance Centre Facebook page, or at the door if not sold out prior.

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