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
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.