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2018 At A Glance

Every year I seem to be writing that it is our best year to date but only because it is true! This year was no exception with our DE Family coming together to create some beautiful memories. While our students excelled in terms of Exams & Eisteddfods, it is their eagerness to learn, team comradery & positivity that continues to inspire me. We truly have created something special at DE and I am proud to share with you our achievements from a spectacular 2018…

This year we were so excited to incorporate the DanceStep Program into our DE culture.  Our DanceStep Students took on leadership roles throughout the studio with them all being an invaluable asset at our end of year concert. It has been so rewarding to see their confidence grow throughout the year. To say we are proud of these students is an understatement, DE could not ask for better ambassadors. Already, we have had 17 students complete Level 1 & look forward to nurturing this program in 2019. Congratulations to the following students; HAYLEY BERCK, JORDEN RIGGS, DYLAN ITZSTEIN, NAOMI BUCKLEY, MIA CHAPMAN, SUZANNAH ELLIOT HAYNES, SHELBY JOHNSON, GRACE BROWN, TERAH HOPE, CLOE CAMILLERI, TYLA SARON, SHONTAE MINNIECON, HAYLEY CALDWELL, TORI CAFFERELLA, BRIANNA PHILLIPS, COURTNEY TRACE, ZOE ANDERSON. 


Many of the staff & students attended workshops and worked with industry professionals throughout the year. 

These include: Ready Set Dance/Ready Set Ballet Workshop & Convention, In2Dance Bundaberg, Queensland Ballet, CSTD, RAD Graded & Vocational, Victorian Dance Festival, Australian Dance Festival, Tapatak Oz & Adam Blanch, BPAC, Fraser Coast Dance Festival, Northern Australian Dance Festival, Connect Workshop, Australian Ballet School, RAD Dance 19.  At these workshops many of the students were the recipients of awards. Bravo!


We are very excited to announce that DYLAN ITZSTEIN will continue his Interstate Program studies with the Australian Ballet School in Level 3, continuing our 100% success rate!!  

Congratulations Dylan!


Our Exam students have once again excelled in their Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary & Music Theatre exams.  

We had 65 students sit their CSTD exams with Miss Diahne Maude with the students receiving 23 Honours Plus, 25 Honours, 9 Highly Commended, 6 Commended and 2 Pass Plus.  Fabulous Results!!!

For the 5th year in a row Director of Tapatak Oz, Christine Denny, travelled to Mackay to conduct our exams and this year we received our best results to date:  7 Supreme Passes, 11 Distinction, 13 Honours & 1 Commended.

Christine also gave the following special awards: 


  • Most Promising Juniors: GEMMA HALLS & AMBER JENKINS

  • Most Outstanding Teen: ZOE ANDERSON 

  • Most Promising Teen: HAYLEY CALDWELL


  • Most Promising Pre-Senior: COURTNEY TRACE


The following students also made the National 2018 Honour Roll for Tapatak Oz: ABBY SPENCER, SULLIVAN GOLDSWORTHY, TYLA SARON, ZOE ANDERSON, KENNEDY FOLEY, SHONTAE MINNIECON & TERAH HOPE.


Our RAD Graded students received 8 Distinction, 12 Merit and the Vocational students received 4 Distinction, 12 Merit & 1 Pass marks.

Congratulations to JORDEN RIGGS who successfully attained her Advanced 2 Exam

In August DYLAN ITZSTEIN made the Finals of the Nth Qld RAD Bursary going on to be the overall winner of Level 1, as well as the recipient of the Project B Scholarship.

The winners of the Highest Exam Marks Trophies for 2018 are:

  • Jazz: TERAH HOPE






Congratulations to two of our Junior students, SOPHIE DOLPHIN & DYLAN ITZSTEIN, who successfully auditioned to perform in the Brisbane City Youth Ballet production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ for their 2018 January season.


One of our goals this year was to be as active in the Mackay Community as possible. We loved seeing DE Students perform at various local events. 


Many of our dancers successfully audition for the inaugural ‘Showtime Productions’ performance of “The Greatest Showman’ performing to large crowds at the Mackay Show. Our fabulous group ‘Let’s Be Bad’ was also included in this show and was a big hit. Our very cute Ready Set Dancers performed like seasoned professionals at the Mackay Show, St Joseph’s School Market Fair, Nth Qld Kids & Babies Market, Bluewater Quay Twilight Markets, and MacKillop School Fair. Many of our students also used their skills learnt at Dance Express to perform in shows including MMCP, Red Giraffe, and various school musicals and other dance related performances.  DE was very fortunate to be chosen as the pre-match entertainment for the Mackay Cutters performing at each of their home games throughout 2018.

SHELBY JOHNSON, SOPHIE DOLPHIN, CHARLI SICHTER & DYLAN ITZSTEIN successfully auditioned for the World Premier of the Ballet NE:ROI and performed as part of the Mackay Festival of the Arts.


In 2018 we continued to gain outstanding results on the competition circuit. The students excelled in every competition they attended and bought home a swag of prizes, trophies and awards.  The following students; ISOBEL RIPPINGALE, RILEY ALBERT, MOLLIE FITZPATRICK, SULLIVAN GOLDSWORTHY, NAOMI BUCKLEY, CHARLI SICHTER, SOPHIE DOLPHIN, DYLAN ITZSTEIN, MIA CHAPMAN, TYLA SARON, SHELBY JOHNSON, KENNEDY FOLEY, SHONTAE MINNIECON, JAYDE READMAN, ELLA GOLDSWORTHY, TERAH HOPE, JORDEN RIGGS, HAYLEY BERCK, & LUCY FITZPATRICK travelled to the Bundaberg, Emerald, Charters Towers, Gladstone, Brisbane Performing Arts Challenge.  Congratulations Travelling Bandits!!  


Overall, our 2018 DE Soloists won 123 First, 122 Second, 106 Third, 44 VHC & 140 HC placings…  WOW that is very impressive…


Congratulations to our students who placed in many Championship sections this year.

  • DYLAN ITZSTEIN – 1st Junior Ballet (Bundaberg), 2nd Junior Modern (Bundaberg), 2nd Junior Tap (Bundaberg)

  • TYLA SARON – VHC Junior Modern (Mackay)

  • ZOE ANDERSON – 1st Junior Tap (Mackay)

  • SHONTAE MINNIECON – 1st Intermediate Modern (Gladstone), 2nd Intermediate Tap (Gladstone), 2ndIntermediate Ballet (Gladstone) 3rd Intermediate Jazz (Mackay), 3rdSenior Tap (Burdekin)

  • KENNEDY FOLEY – 1st, Junior Tap (Emerald), 2nd Intermediate Tap (Mackay), 3rd Senior Jazz (Burdekin),

  • JAYDE READMAN – 3rd Intermediate Tap (Mackay)

  • TERAH HOPE – 2nd Intermediate Modern (Mackay), 2nd 13/14yrs Modern (Bundaberg), 2nd 13/14 Tap (Bundaberg), 3rd Intermediate Ballet (Mackay), HC Intermediate Ballet (Mackay)

  • JORDEN RIGGS – HC Senior Modern (Mackay)

  • HAYLEY BERCK – 2nd Senior Modern (Emerald)


Congratulations to our 2018 Award winners for this very impressive list of achievements: 

  • RILEY ALBERT – Most Promising Performer 7yrs (MDF)

  • ABBY SPENCER – Most Promising Performer 8yrs (MDF)

  • SULLIVAN GOLDSWORTHY – Most Outstanding Performer 8yrs (MDF), Runner Up Best Talent @ Fast Track Talent (Burdekin), Joe Norris Bursary (Mackay)

  • MOLLIE FITZPATRICK – Rose Slipper Bursary for Improvisation (Emerald)

  • DYLAN ITZSTEIN – Most Outstanding Performer 10yrs (MDF), Most Outstanding Overall Junior Performer (MDF), Highest Song & Dance Mark 12&u (Gladstone), Highest Lyrical Mark 12&u (Gladstone), Highest Demi Mark 12&u (Gladstone), Highest Contemporary Mark 12&u (Gladstone), Non-Local Encouragement Award 12&u (Gladstone), Dancer Showing Most Potential in Classical/Lyrical/Contemporary 12&u (Gladstone).

  • TYLA SARON – Most Outstanding Performer 11yrs (MDF)

  • MIA CHAPMAN – Overall Junior Encouragement Award (Emerald), Most Outstanding Up Tempo Modern Solo 11&u (Mackay)

  • ZOE ANDERSON – 11&12yrs Tap Aggregate (Mackay)

  • SHELBY JOHNSON – Encouragment Award 13yrs (MDF)

  • KENNEDY FOLEY – Overall Most Entertaining Performance (Bundaberg), Most Outstanding Performer 13yrs (MDF), Most Artistic Dancer (Emerald), 13&14yrs Modern Aggregate (Mackay), 13&14yrs Tap Aggregate (Mackay), Encouragement Award Tap Scholarship (BPAC)

  • SHONTAE MINNIECON – Most Outstanding Overall Intermediate Performer (MDF), Most Promising Performer (MDF)Jazz Finalist (BPAC), Tap Finalist (BPAC)

  • JAYDE READMAN – Encouragement Awards 14yrs & over (MDF)

  • ELLA GOLDSWORTHY – 14yrs Most Promising Performer (MDF),

  • TERAH HOPE – Most Outstanding Senior Choreography (MDF), Butch Bernet Bursary (Mackay)

  • HAYLEY BERCK – Most Outstanding Performer (Burdekin), Most Promising Variety Performer (Bundaberg)


Our Dance Express Groups performed brilliantly at the Mackay Eisteddfod. We are proud to announce that DE’s Group Results were unparalleled:


  • 1st: Billie Jean - Open Tap Group

  • 1st: 10&under Classical Group

  • 1st: Dock of the Bay – 14&under Slow Modern Group

  • 1st: 14&under Classical Group 

  • 1st: Yellow Brick Road – 12&under Slow Modern Group

  • 1st: 7/4 – 14&under Tap Group

  • 1st: Adam’s Group – Open Slow Modern Group

  • 2nd: Hamilton – Open Up Tempo Modern Group

  • 2nd: 42ndStreet – Open Song & Dance Group

  • 2nd: 12&under Classical Group

  • 3rd: Flintstones – 10&under Novelty Group

  • 3rd: Red Alert – 12&under Tap Group

  • 3rd: Harry Potter – 8&under Novelty Group

  • 3rd: Sax – 14&under Up Tempo Modern Group

  • 3rd: Open Classical Group

  • 3rd: Addams Family – 14&under Cabaret Group

  • 3rd: Hot Shoe Shuffle – 12&under Tap Group

  • 3rd: Let’s Be Bad – 12&under Cabaret Group

  • HC: Tarzan – Junior/Intermediate Music Theatre Group 


DE groups, Yellow Brick Road & Book of Morman also won multiple awards at the KAR (Kids Artistic Review) competition, going on to be nominated for 2 National Awards.  Soloists DYLAN ITZSTEIN & SHONTAE MINNIECON have also been nominated for National Awards.  Great Job!


All of the DE Staff are so incredibly proud of each and every group that performed this year!!

What a wonderful job!!  Congratulations to all…


Dance Express also featured in the 2018 READY SET DANCE Convention Awards. Our RSD teacher Miss Natalie Midgley made the Top 4 RSD teachers Australia wide and Dance Express won the Overall Community Spirit Award.  Bravo to our fabulous RSD team of students, parents & teachers!!!! 


We would also like to acknowledge the DE students who were chosen as student leaders at their respective schools, it is always lovely to see them achieve in so many other areas of their lives. 

Last but not least, we wish our Graduating DE Seniors HAYLEY BERCK, LUCY FITZPATRICK & HARRY O'CONNELL all the best in their future endeavours. It has been a pleasure watching you blossom into confident, intelligent & caring young adults. A huge thank you to your families for allowing DE to be such a big part of your lives. 

Bravo to all on what has been a fabulous year full of terrific achievements!

One thing is for sure, whatever 2019 brings our way…

We are ready for it!


Love Miss B  xx

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