Hervey Bay dancers ‘audition’ with theatre professionals

STUDENTS at the Hervey Bay Performing Arts College received their first taste of a professional audition when choreographers and producers from Melbourne visited the school this week.

Luke Alleva leads students from the Hervey Bay Performing Arts College through a dance routine. PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

The students were given the opportunity to take part in a ‘mock’ audition on Wednesday, with producers and performers touring Queensland with JTM Productions showing them the ropes.

JTM Productions has been touring Queensland performing Gene & Judy. They performed at the Brolga Theatre and Convention Theatre in Maryborough on Thursday.

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 Students were shown and guided through exactly what they could expect when auditioning for professional performances in the future.

The session got off with the students registering in the school foyer before learning the steps to a dance routine in the studio.

Executive producer at JTM Productions Margaret Fisk told Good News Fraser Coast the workshop would run exactly like a professional audition – helping the students understand the registration process, dance, vocal and reading elements of the real thing.

“It is really important for young performers to experience this and know what is expected of them before they audition for the first time,” Margaret said.

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She said workshops help young performers understand what is expected of them, helping ease some of their anxiety before their first audition.

“This session will also help young performers understand that not getting the part doesn’t mean they’re not good or capable enough,” Margaret explained.

She said producers might turn down a performer who has the necessary skills and ability but they’re just not suited for the part in that specific production.

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The stars of Gene & Judy, Luke Alleva and Sophie Loughran then helped the students with their dance routines and auditions – all while the producers made notes on a feedback form.

Grade 12 student Ayisha Walker said it was really exciting to have professional performers and producers take the time to help them learn.

“It’s really amazing to have industry professionals here, especially in a regional area,” she said.

“We don’t always get to see them perform live or attend workshops with them like other students in the bigger cities.”

Ayisha, who said she wants to become a professional dancer, said the experience would help the cohort as they start their own journeys in the world of theatre.

Meanwhile, college Director Jonathon Heeley said the audition workshop was a “fantastic opportunity” for the students.

“It’s great they get to meet not only professional performers but the people who employ them as well,” he said.

In addition to Wednesday’s special visit, students are heading to Sydney this weekend to meet and engage with other young performers.

The Hervey Bay Performing Arts College caters for high school students – Grades 7 to 12.

Courses are accredited by the Cairns School of Distance Educations.

For more information on the college, click here.

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