Monaro dancers take Nationals by storm - and by surprise

STUDENTS from Monaro Dance Centre have taken the Showcase National Championships by storm.

The Cooma based studio picked up one first, three seconds and a gold award at the National Championships held at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast.

It came as a surprise for the students from the small country dance studio, who were up against some of the biggest studios from across Australia.

"I think they were shocked. They knew they had danced well when they came off stage, but they were just happy to be there and weren't expecting to win anything," Monaro Dance Centre director and principal teacher Kayla Ross said.

"They were up against some huge studios from Melbourne and Sydney. Some of them had 60 dancers competing.

"And here we are with 10 dancers, one of the smallest studios and probably most isolated."

The students, aged between 7-years-old and 12, were Safia Nassar, Grace Clarke, Tayla Robinson, Memphis Forrest, Brady Jones, Lucy Thornton, Rose Litchfield, Ella Davis, Alana Hain and Tiarne Brown.

They finished first in the under 10 hip hop, second in under 10 lyrical, second in under 10 contemporary, second in under 10 jazz and picked up a gold award for high marks for a second routine in the under 10 jazz.

"Jazz was the largest section. It's the most popular," Miss Ross said.

"To get high marks for both routines in that section was fantastic.

"We didn't expect to walk away with any sort of prize, but to place in four of the five routines was amazing."

Miss Ross credited the hard work and dedication of her young students, and their parents for their commitment, some of whom drove to Queensland for the competition.

The championships attracted some 5,000 dancers from 200 studios.

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