Junior ballet Eisteddfod group members perform at the Wendy Barker Dance Studio Curtain Up event at the Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre, Gladstone.
Junior ballet Eisteddfod group members perform at the Wendy Barker Dance Studio Curtain Up event at the Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre, Gladstone. Luka Kauzlaric

Centre filled to capacity as curtain goes up on dancers

WHILE the audience gazed in wonder, Wendy Barker Dance Studio students danced joyfully across the stage at their performance of Curtain Up at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre last Sunday.

From beautiful, entertaining tiny youngsters to highly experienced seniors, each dancer had poise and grace.

The GECC was filled to capacity.

Dance studio artistic director Wendy Barker said the diversity of the students' range of dance was exceptional.

"Everyone danced very well and did a credible job on all the challenges," she said.

Ms Barker said one of the young students was so impressed with the performance she went home and uploaded her own YouTube video for the dance team.

Vinitha Rajan said her four-year-old daughter, Iniya, loved the show.

"She enjoyed watching the performances more than her own performance. I am so glad she got the opportunity to enjoy and fall in love with dance," Mrs Rajan said.

"At the end of the show she was quite sad because the show ended and she wanted me to tell you to put up more shows like this."

Daniel Kempson and Tahlia Downey perform at the Wendy Barker Dance Studio Curtain Up event at the Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre, Gladstone.
Daniel Kempson and Tahlia Downey perform at the Wendy Barker Dance Studio Curtain Up event at the Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre, Gladstone. Luka Kauzlaric

Ms Barker has many children and young adults progress through her studio, as well as students from all different cultures.

Some excel far beyond the usual.

Dance student Daniel Kempson - an eisteddfod bursary winner - has been offered a two-year ballet scholarship at the Queensland Dance School of Excellence.

Another student Tahlia Downey also succeeded there but plans to stay the extra year with Wendy Barker Dance Studio to complete her solo seal exam.

Ms Barker said what they students did in concert was a stepping stone towards more professional performances.

"My personal opinion about the arts is it is an essential ingredient in the community - the heartbeat really," she said.



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