Dancers prepare for competition with cause as Ballarat Dance Awards support Fragile X | The mail

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Two days of master classes will culminate with dancers taking the stage to participate in the Ballarat Dance Awards this weekend. Dozens of dancers aged seven to 18 will learn from some of the best in the business with top judges and teachers participating in the three-day event. For many dancers this is one of the first events they’ve been able to attend since the start of last year and although the numbers have been reduced to 80 to ensure social distancing, against a regular attendance of around 300, the competition will always be fierce. . Anita Coutts, who launched the Ballarat Dance Awards three years ago, said the unique event focused on building skills and technique rather than the theater of competition. Dancers will participate in master classes on Friday and Saturday and can then choose to compete on Sunday. “On Friday, we ask the teachers of the master class to give their opinion, on Saturday if it is another teacher, we get their opinion on the students, then on Sunday, the judges give their final remarks” Ms. Coutts said. “I don’t believe there is anything that offers quite what we do, certainly at Ballarat, with master classes that end with a dance prize or a dance challenge at the end. I think it’s really important that the dancers show their technique, not just the theater, as they move forward and improve and are seen not only on stage but also in class. ” Dancers compete for scholarships to the Amanda Bollinger Academy of Dance in Queensland and the Australian School of Ballet Summer School, as well as vouchers from dance providers Bloch and Energetix. Just over half of those who participate will be from Melbourne and the rest from Ballarat and other regional areas, while some from the highway can’t or won’t come. IN OTHER NEWS The awards will continue their tradition by raising funds for Fragile -X – a cause dear to Ms. Coutts’ heart, as one of the families at her dance school has a young boy born with the genetic condition. Fragile X is an inherited intellectual disability that can lead to behavioral, emotional, and learning problems and is often linked with autism spectrum disorders. Every week in Australia, a child is born with fragile X syndrome and 20 more are born with the defective gene. The proceeds from Sunday’s competition will be donated to the X Fragile Foundation.