Dazzling dancers in Bendigo

Hundreds of young dancers are taking to the stage this week as part of the Bendigo Competition Society Inc's classical ballet and theatrical dance competition.

Performers aged from three to 24 will tackle a string of dance styles, from classical ballet, to jazz, from contemporary to tap at the 89th annual event.

Dance coordinator Fay Thomas has been serving as society president for more than a decade and rates this year as one of the best.

"I think I say it every year, but every year the standard just gets higher," Ms Thomas said.

"You just can't imagine they could improve on perfection, but they do."

Ms Thomas said highlights included the state spectacular on Saturday night and the closing event - the inaugural Foundry Invitational Dancing Championships.

This is the first time the competition has been held at Bendigo South East College's performing arts centre, and Ms Thomas said the venue change had been met with rave reviews.

"The competition is about providing dancers with performance opportunities and being critiqued by professional dancers," Ms Thomas said.

"Here we're in a true theatre, it's amazing for both audiences and performers."

Bendigo dancer Amy Ryan, 12,  has been competing for six years and specialises in several dance styles including jazz, tap and ballet.

The year seven Catholic College Bendigo student has already scooped a few top prizes, including first place in a jazz duo with friend Hayley Douglas.

Amy will be competing all week and said she was finally getting on top of her nerves.

"I've been a bit nervous, but not as nervous as I have been before, I'm more confident as I've grown up," Amy said.

"I'm very happy about how far I've gone with my dancing, and I'm so excited about the rest of my performances."

The Bendigo Competition Society Inc's classical ballet and theatrical dance competition is on until Tuesday, July 8 at Bendigo South East College.

For more information, visit www.bendigocomps.org.au


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