Wow. What a year it has been. Who would have thought at the start of this year we would have used the word ‘lockdown’, face masks would become a thing and we would all download Zoom. Yet here we are- we made it. This year was supposed to go off with a bang being our 20th year at Centre Stage. We had grandiose plans at the beginning of the year for what 2020 would be and like everyone we had to adapt to survive what it became.
We started the year with exciting and challenging Marko Panzic and Paris Cavanagh workshops and the launch of our 2020 t-shirts. Our students who were a part of the DanceStep student teacher program also commenced assisting with their classes. We made it to around week 8 of term 1 and then lockdown hit, and we launched our online classes. It was an unusual time for both teachers and students, adapting to teaching and learning through a computer screen. We are so lucky here in WA that by Week 4 of term 2, we were able to come back to dancing in the studio with a modified timetable. We added in some extra measures like a handwashing station and lots of signage, but nothing felt better than being face-to-face in the studio again. A few weeks later, we were able to go back to our full timetable and have all our classes back in the studio on a regular timetable.
Over the holidays and during the term, we ran some online challenges which included acro balances and leg mounts. We had some brilliant entries showing off what our students had been practicing in their back yards and tv rooms. We got straight back into the swing of things once we were back in the studio with exams quickly approaching and the possibility of competitions. We ended term 2 with loads of enthusiasm and excitement of being back. During the July holidays, we had lots of extra exam classes and also ran a fun holiday program for our younger students and friends.
In term 3, we launched our FitMindz 4 kids program starting the term with a focus on kindness. This program aims to develop positive wellbeing in children and is something we strive to encourage at our school. A few weeks into term, Mr Dino ran some workshops for juniors and seniors which were lots of fun. Online, we started a blog, looking at different dance topics and speaking with professionals for their expert advice on topics like performance anxiety, injuries and makeup application. Towards the end of term, we had our exams of which we had brilliant results for all our students. We were so proud of their extra effort and dedication this year. Once holidays had come around, competitions were back up and running and our students were able to showcase what they learnt. Overall, we had fabulous results and a lot of personal bests.
At the beginning of term 4, we held our Mini Stars concert which was cuteness overload. Showcasing our Baby Boppers, Ready Set Dance, Ready Set Ballet and Tiny Tumbler classes as well as some of our upper school acts. Our DanceStep students played a big role in assisting teachers both backstage and on stage. We were very impressed by their maturity and effort. During the year, quite a few of our students excelled outside of the studio in programs and shows run by large scale companies. We are very proud of your efforts and how well you represent our school. Then we began the countdown to concert. For the first time ever, we held an outdoor concert at Belvoir Amphitheatre which was a unique and exciting event for all. Behind the scenes, there was A LOT of work which went into the logistics and organisation of such an event. Taryn really thought of everything and every scenario, over no doubt many sleepless nights. The night was a huge success and we couldn’t be more proud of the school we are a part of.
2020 forced us to reflect. It forced us to better ourselves and challenge ourselves. As a result, we have a number of exciting new initiatives in 2021. We have introduced a new section to our school called ‘Junior Stars’. The Junior Stars will bridge the gap between our tiniest dancers and Upper School. We have developed our new ‘Company’ which will be an extension of our competition stream for students who are looking to pursue dance seriously. We have rebranded our very popular and long running Baby Boppers program -to ‘BaBee Boppers’ with a cute little bee mascot. We have introduced a ballet extension program for students wanting to advance their ballet training. Lastly, we are super excited to announce we will be running Lyra (aerial hoop) and silks training for our acro students with Miss Paige who is back from training in Sydney.
So, while 2020 was not what anyone thought it would be, it certainly forced us to reconsider what we value the most. 2021 we are ready for you!