Buderim Mountain State School's winning senior lyrical dance team
Buderim Mountain State School's winning senior lyrical dance team

Buderim students dance into first place

Buderim Mountain State School's senior lyrical dance team have defended their winner's title for the second year at the Australian Pinnacle Dance Challenge. The school's senior and junior jazz teams also took out top-tier positions, both securing third places.

The school's dance coach and third-grade teacher, Sheena McConnel, says the children did incredibly well, especially since rehearsals were halted because of COVID-19 and the competition was postponed. "Many children forgot the choreography by the time rehearsals were allowed to commence again, so it was like starting over," she says.

The competition was made even tougher by an increase in participating schools.

"Some Brisbane schools who usually don't compete in the Pinnacle Dance Challenge entered because other competitions had been cancelled during the year.

"Some of those schools have more resources than most," Sheena says.

"Our Buderim students had never seen themselves dance as a team in a mirror or practised on a stage until the day of the competition. It made their achievement even more impressive."

To prepare for the competition, hundreds of Buderim students audition for over a week before the final teams are selected. Those team members then rehearse during lunch breaks or after school, depending on the age of the dancers.

"At the competition, our junior team competed first," said Sheena.

"When they came off stage, our senior teams had made a tunnel of honour for the juniors to run through. It brought tears to my eyes, and I was immensely proud of our dancers."

Buderim Mountain State School's principal, Neil Jenkins, says, "The children get a real buzz from the competition and miss rehearsing once it's all over. It fosters a great sense of camaraderie and friendship between the dancers. We're very proud of the students and grateful for Mrs McConnel's skills."