They’ve got the right moves

By Kirra Livingstone

A PERFECT combination of 50 dedicated students and an inspirational teacher has led the Beerwah Dance Company (BDC) to unprecedented national success at the Get the Beat National Dance Championships.

Beerwah State High’s BDC won an incredible eight national championship titles and a national runners up title for performances from contemporary to jazz and theatre. It was the most awards BDC has ever collected at a nationals event, with BDC teacher Jess Rossberg thrilled with the results.

“We were very lucky to have received first place for eight of them and second for the ninth routine, so we are really happy to have been rewarded those results,” she said.

The committed BDC students train four mornings a week and then full day rehearsals prior to events, as well as the occasional lunch time and public holiday.

“The juniors and seniors are really supportive of one another and hype each other up and they always want to try and better themselves,” Jess said.

“The juniors are talented with what they can do, and the seniors aspire to do similar things as the juniors… the seniors look up to the juniors just as much as the juniors look up to the seniors.”

Dance captain Saffron Towers said despite everyone’s commitment, the results were still a surprise.

“I was really shocked,” she said.

“We knew it was really competitive and challenging, but our dedication and passion really showed.”

She said she was particularly proud of their contemporary performance, “Breaking the Ice”.

“It was a full-time dancer’s performance because of Miss Rossberg’s guidance,” Saffron said.

Jess said she was constantly motivated to provide a safe, supportive space for the students.

“It’s a collaborative and supportive space and I always value their feedback and their suggestions, they are amazing,” she said.

“I don’t do this for me, I do this for them… I always check with them if they want to do extra rehearsals, it’s never a matter of me forcing them to, it’s always a team decision.

“It’s about giving them memories to look back at and gives them an opportunity to be a part of something, because for some kids, it’s the main reason they come to school.”

Saffron said the students embraced that positivity, saying it created a great atmosphere in their training and performances. “I put it down to Miss Rossberg,”  Saffron said. “She creates a family and energy. We got the results because we worked hard but also because of how we feel in the room.”

Saffron added that even if a student wasn’t as strong in some areas, Jess would be a positive and inspirational influence. “Her passion is so strong not only for dancing, but for helping others,” Saffron said. “If you can’t dance as well, she will never make you feel bad, no student has ever felt bad around her, she just helps you through.”

As well as creating this environment for the students, she has also invested much needed time into group activities to further develop the group’s connection.

“It’s not all about the dance, it’s about building stronger connections and working together,” she said.

“Sometimes we don’t do rehearsals for a week because I’ll see the kids and can tell they are burnt out, so I’ll either cancel the sessions to let them sleep in or do some bonding exercises.”
BDC was awarded National Champion for: Breaking Ice, Play, Outta My Mind, Burning, No Way, Always Be, Whipped into Shape and Run It.