When I grew up at Francessca Louise Academy of Dance we had three competitions per year. The Taree Eisteddfod in May, the Kempsey Eisteddfod in June and the Port Macquarie Eisteddfod in September. At the end of the year we did our concert and that was our dance year!
When I opened Port Macquarie Performing Arts I decided that we weren’t going to do any competitions, and I broadcast that, it was just going to be for the love of dance. However, as the story goes, we open on our opening day & we have 70 kids enrol and most of those kids weren’t beginners, they had been dancing for quite a number of years & this is not something that I had planned for. So when they arrived at my new studio, they had been previously performing in group & solo competitions at Eisteddfods and they wanted to continue that. So in order for them to not miss out, we started entering Eisteddfods.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Eisteddfod’s. I used to live and breath them and count down the days. I would call the program the ‘bible’. It was my life and I love that we decided to do them at PMPA.
Compared to when I was dancing there is now so many different eisteddfods and it seems silly to just do they same ones every year because there is so much more choice now! So this is why we do so many different eisteddfod’s and events each year.
Each year at PMPA we announce which events we will be performing at over the year. This way you can be organised and have the dates for the whole year in your diary.
We made an agreement as a staff group to do Taree Eisteddfod every 2nd year due to the huge commitment that our dance families need to make in order to enter groups at this Eisteddfod. Taree Eisteddfod is a wonderful Eisteddfod with a beautiful stage and theatre, but we just thought that every 2nd year is more realistic for our dance families.
We like to throw in different eisteddfods each year for our performance groups to make it a really special experience. For example last year we tried out Armidale & Grafton Eisteddfods and it was great for our students to experience a new opportunity and be inspired by difference dance groups from different areas.
While we live & breath dance and we know some of our dancers would love to be performing every weekend, it is really important to ensure that we are not taking you away from your special family time and that our dancers don’t burn out and continue to have the spark & love for dance.
This is why we always try & keep it different and fresh for our dancers!