The Next Step Performing Arts

The Next Step Performing Arts with (left) Patricia Russo, McDonald’s Licensee; Laura Web, The Next Step Performing Arts Director; (right) Kris Lewis Director, The Next Step Performing Arts; Francine Bell. Photo: WinkiPoP Media

Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald’s Dance of Champions scores another riveting success

With a capacity crowd cheering nonstop and television cameras cruising the rafters, the annual McDonald’s Dance of Champions brought the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod dance program to an exciting finish at the Science Theatre on Sunday, 13 September.

Shaped as a final dance-off between top scoring dance troupes from the annual Sydney Eisteddfod, this spectacular event now carries $28,000 in total money that is divided equally between an impartial jury and the audience who select their own winners by secret ballot. Both award prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 to their respective first, second and third place-getters, and as the remaining finalists receive $500 each, the show ends on a happy note with no group departing empty handed.

Competing for a share in the prize purse adds to the fun, and this year with the jury and the audience failing to agree on any point, six different schools shared the six major prizes. The Chiswick-based Next Step Performing Arts took top honours in the People’s Choice Awards performing a mind-blowing jazz routine. A team from the Dubbo Ballet Studio proved that good dance education is not only available in major cities by coming second with a contemporary piece entitled The Eye of the Beholder, while a group of very young dancers from Rouse Hill Public School performing ‘Circle of Life’ from the Lion King won all hearts along with third prize.

St Columba Anglican School

St Columba Anglican School with (left) Noel Cislowski, Sydney Eisteddfod Chairman; Patricia Russo, McDonald’s Licensee; Brianna Thomas, St Columba Anglican School; (right) Francine Bell; Piroozi Desai-Keane, Sydney Eisteddfod CEO. Photo: WinkiPoP Media

Students from St Columba Anglican School, Port Macquarie, wowed the jury by presenting Tribes, a Romeo & Juliet type love story set in a post colonial world, with strong technique and creative flair. A troupe from the Marie Walton Mahon Academy, Lambton claimed second place after casting an unforgettable impression with a quirky contemporary number, while a lissome group from Pymble Ladies College finished third with a beautifully choreographed classical/contemporary number.

Sydney Eisteddfod congratulates the major prizewinners, applauds the remaining 11 finalists on their outstanding performances, and last, but not least, thanks the velvet-voiced Francine Bell, who contributed richly to the success of the show in the role of compere.

The 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald’s Dance of Champions was filmed for television and will be broadcast on Network Ten on Sunday November 1 at 2pm.