Sydney Eisteddfod alumni Dena Kaplan and Keiynan Lonsdale (right) with Tomas Lacey in the Dance Academy movie. Picture: Werner Film Productions
First they got young dancers from around the country hooked on the popular television series, now the Dance Academy crew are back for a full-length movie in nationwide cinemas.
As in the ABC series of the same title, the anticipated Dance Academy movie has Sydney Eisteddfod alumni Keiynan Lonsdale (cast as Ollie Lloyd), Jessi Seymour (Carmen), Maddie Peat (Eloise), Dena Kaplan (Abigail Armstrong), Xenia Goodwin (Tara Webster) and Mitchell Butel (as Ballet Master) shining on the national big screen as they pick up the story where the TV series left off.
In the series (airing on ABC TV now) small-town teenager Tara Webster (played by Xenia Goodwin) pursues her dream of becoming a ballet dancer at the National Academy of Dance. Tara and her fellow students push themselves as relationships grow while the teens live with one another in the school's boarding house.
Hailing from St Marys in Western Sydney alumni Keiynan Lonsdale is making a name for himself as a rising movie star, having played roles in international movie Insurgent (of the Divergent series) and TV show The Flash.
Bonnet Bay’s Jessi Seymour had an impressive 2016 as a finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship and the Genée International Ballet Competition; this year she went to Switzerland for the finals of the international Prix de Lausanne.
Jessi was in studio filming for five days and said she really enjoyed the experience.
“The cast were all really supportive. We danced a lot for the scenes I was in so it was great seeing the end result. I think the filming captures the energy of the choreography,” she said.
“Dancing at Sydney Eisteddfod prepared me well for experiences like this. In the movie I perform a solo part on a stage which, of course, is what Sydney Eisteddfod is all about: performing for an audience.”
Dance Academy is in cinemas around Australia now.