By Vinnie Todd
While Rising Stars Dance Company instructor NatalieLorking has dreams of taking her up-and-coming young troupe of performers to the National Titles one day, she’s also very focused on letting them “let loose and be themselves” at this stage of their preparation.
Nat, who can boast 16 years of dance experience herself and another five years of teaching budding young dancers, formed the group back in February because Manilla and Barraba didn’t have any type of dancing school.
“I just wanted to share my love of dance with the community. Now we have around 70 – boys and girls, aged from one to 14 in both locations,” Nat said.
Assisted in her classes by two other experienced dancers, Nat puts the children through sessions of jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre, singing, acrobatics and tumble.And with recent results from only three competitive outings to date, Nat and her small team of instructors must be doing something right with the students.
“We have 14 dancers who currently compete, and in our first ever competition, we picked up a win (Parker) and three third placings (Paige) in the solo, two second placings (Zarli and Ridi) in the duo and a third (entire group) in the group section at Armidale at the beginning of June. Then we went to Tamworth for two thirds (Paige) and two Highly Commended (Parker and Paige) in the solo and a third (entire troupe) in the group before our recent trip to Coffs Harbour where Cora and Cydiimpressed with a nice win in the duo.”
Next up for Rising Stars Dance Company will be trips to Newcastle during September/October where members will be taking in 25 routines over a two-week period. A short break over the Christmas holidays will be followed by full-on training for the 2023 season.
Nat and her co-teachers get a big kick out of seeing their young performers improving by the week.
“We love to see them let loose and be themselves. They have all definitely learned how to be more confident in themselves, and to see how much they’ve come out of their shells in only six months is unbelievable. I have been so proud of every one of them,” Nat said.
Nat said that she gets a lot of positive feedback from not only the young performers themselves, but also their parents.
“Parents tell me how much their children’s confidence has changed. They love that our group is very family orientated and share family-centred values. And I’ve received many comments from people on how much I treat the students like my own kids. I’m very down to earth which is what it’s really all about.”
While Nat has received a pleasing number of 70 new students onto the books in only five months of operation, new members will always be welcomed with open arms. Classes are run at Manilla Bowling Club of a Monday and Wednesday while Thursday has been earmarked for Barraba, also at the Bowlo. Anyone interested can contact Nat on 0404 302285 or [email protected].