Among the rows of perfectly pink ballet shoes, bright white tutus and feathers stood a sea of prima ballerinas – and Tin Man, Dorothy and the Wicked Witch. This combination is not entirely unusual at the East Maitland Academy of Dance at this time of year as the students prepare for their end of year dance concert.
This year the students will perform the traditional ballet of Swan Lake, but will also be escaping to Kansas to bring the Wizard of Oz to life on stage. The students, who learn ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and hip hop have been putting in long hours to make sure their routines are flawless and the audience is kept in awe as they dance effortlessly on stage. Some of the dancers are as young as two years of age while the more senior students are 15.
Dance academy principal Janos Szabo said he liked being able to give the students the opportunity to work toward the goal of putting a performance together on stage. He said Swan Lake was one of the most popular ballet stories.
“Swan Lake is one of the treasures of the ballet repertoire,” he said. Mr Szabo said practising the routines provided healthy competition between the students. He said when the students worked together it gave the junior dancers something to aspire to through the senior students. The academy’s concert is at the Maitland Town Hall on Monday, December 19.