2012 has been a very successful year for the dancers from Fiona’s Academy of Drama and Dance.
The students who range in age from six to 18 have worked extremely hard and have competed in various competitions and events in the past few months.
In March they entered the Northern Ireland Championships in Dance which took place in Lisburn.
The junior team consisting of 20 dancers from various locations including Lurgan, Craigavon, Waringstown, Portadown and Crumlin were up against stiff competition.
Fiona Bawn-Thompson, Artistic Director and Choreographer, said: “There were 10 teams and many were a lot older. The standard of the competition was great, and we definitely held our own. I was so happy when they achieved second place.”
The prizes didn’t end there, with the senior team winning first place. The academy also came home with another first, second and third place in the couples section.
After Lisburn the academy entered an Under Seven team into Portadown Dance festival. Some of the children were only four-years-old and they were doing break dance and complicated hip-hop steps. They had only three weeks to learn a full routine and did the academy proud in finishing second.
After so much success, they decided to push the boundaries and enter into a major hip-hop competition in Drogheda. The event was organised by the same company who run the All Ireland and World Hip-Hop qualifiers competitions.
“We were dancing against groups from Belfast, Donegal, Dublin and further,” said Fiona.
“There were well over 1,000 people there. However, we had worked our dancers very hard and we trained intensely for the weeks approaching the competition.
“It was so nervewracking and you can only imagine how elated we were when we won first prize in our crew dance Under 12.
“Then our senior team who danced over 16 (even though some were only 12) won third place.
“But it didn’t end there. We went on to the solos and pair sections, some of which had over 50 entries.
“We had more than one dancer in every final, and in our Under 14 pairs four out of the five finalists belonged to our school. Between our 38 dancers we won over 60 trophies.”