Braidwood Dance Studio prepares end-of-year performance

The Braidwood Dance Studio’s end-of-year show will take place this weekend, in the theme of one of the most popular musical films of all time: Mary Poppins. 

Youthful: The dancers at the studio range from two years old to eighteen years of age, and all will take the stage this weekend for Mary Boppins: Practically Perfect In Every Way. Photo: Supplied.

Youthful: The dancers at the studio range from two years old to eighteen years of age, and all will take the stage this weekend for Mary Boppins: Practically Perfect In Every Way. Photo: Supplied.

Mary Boppins: Practically Perfect In Every Way follows a theme set by studio owner and head teacher Emma Gartside, of building the shows around classic films which feature good music and are popular with older and younger viewers alike. 

“Every year we try to do something different,” Gartside said. 

“We’ve done Alice In Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so old classics with great songs. 

“Mary Poppins has always been one of my favourites so we thought we’d try that one this year.” 

The show will feature classic numbers from the famous musical, which are sure to set the feet of every patron tapping while the dancers show off their moves. 

With roughly 120 students taking part in the production, Gartside said that the rehearsals have been “hectic”, and added that the students are nervous to take the stage, but ready to perform. 

“There’s always a lot of nerves though, every time they get on stage,” she said. 

“But they’re always pretty good. Some of them have been doing it five years now, so they know the ropes.” 

The performances will not come without their challenges. The cast is so huge that the studio has had to erect four marquees in order to accommodate the multitudes of costume changes throughout the show, while Gartside said that the performances always fall on hot nights. 

The heat will do nothing to wilt Gartside’s excitement ahead of the show, as this is the first time her mother has come across from England to view a performance. 

Gartside’s mother was the person who introduced the Braidwood instructor to dance when she was a child in Brighton, and she said that she is both keen and nervous to put on a good show for her family and friends. 

“It makes me a bit nervous,” Gartside said. 

“I want it to go well, and I want it to be a success, which I’m sure it will be. I’m pretty used to it now, so I know what to do, but still there’s always the nerves that something might go wrong or you’ll forget something.” 

The Braidwood studio is the first that Gartside has ever owned, and she said that the community support behind her shows was key to her success. 

“The whole town love it,” she said, and she expressed her gratitude to the parents who come along and assist with costume changes, makeup, and organisation on the night. 

The shows will take place on Saturday December 8 from 6.30pm, and Sunday December 9 from 2.30pm at the National Theatre Braidwood. Tickets can be purchased on the door. 

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