International dance sensation arrives in the Hastings

All fun: Mothers and daughters dancing in the Big Dance, Trish Todd and Kerry Bell with daughters Eliza Todd and Katie Bell.

All fun: Mothers and daughters dancing in the Big Dance, Trish Todd and Kerry Bell with daughters Eliza Todd and Katie Bell.

Best foot foward: Bago Magic dancers Rosalie Day, Kirsty Georgias, Kylie Winn and Jenniefer Davis with Mayor Peter Besseling at the Big Dance on Sunday.

Best foot foward: Bago Magic dancers Rosalie Day, Kirsty Georgias, Kylie Winn and Jenniefer Davis with Mayor Peter Besseling at the Big Dance on Sunday.

Family affair: Wauchope and Port Macquarie Performing Arts' Stacey Morgan dancing with her 18-month-old daughter Lucinda.

Family affair: Wauchope and Port Macquarie Performing Arts' Stacey Morgan dancing with her 18-month-old daughter Lucinda.

Hands up: Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor Peter Besseling in action at the Big Dance at the Glasshouse forecourt with members of Bago Magic.

Hands up: Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor Peter Besseling in action at the Big Dance at the Glasshouse forecourt with members of Bago Magic.

Learning the moves: Bago Magic performers rehearse the movements for the Big Dance event on Sunday.

Learning the moves: Bago Magic performers rehearse the movements for the Big Dance event on Sunday.

WITH every smile and synchronised step, dancers from across the Hastings joined one of the biggest dance movements the world has ever seen.

Port Macquarie has made history as just one of two regional towns, including Bega, chosen to the be part of the international Big Dance Event.

Dancers from the two regional areas joined the celebration happening in Glasgow and London and simultaneously at the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House on Sunday morning.

"Out together and to the side," said Aus Dance NSW instructor Patricia Wood, who flew up from Sydney to guide the group. "That's fantastic, let's do it again."

Teams of red and blue moved in unison to bring to life the choreography created by the acclaimed Sydney Dance Company's artistic director, Rafael Bonachela.

Ms Wood said the work entitled Beats For Peace, was about sharing a love of dance with the community.

And, gave dancers a great opportunity to engage with the work of a professional choreographer.

But Big Dance event, was by no means limited to those with good coordination.

People of all shapes and sizes, abilities and ages graced the forecourt with plenty of passion and enthusiasm.

Among them, was Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor Peter Besseling, who did his best to keep up with the group.

Dressed in his deep red, traditional mayoral robes, he joined performers from Bago Magic.

"It's been a fantastic event," Mr Besseling said, post-dance. "But I was never any good in the nightclub, and I'm no good on the forecourt."

Those slightly more-accomplished dancers, also revelled in the opportunity.

Among them was 11-year-old Zoe Brennan, who managed to convince her parents to cut their Queensland holiday a day short so she could participate.

"It was just such a wonderful opportunity for her to be a part of something like this," her mother Liz told the Port News on Sunday.

Zoe has been dancing with La Vive Classique since she was three, and hasn't stopped since.

"She's all about dancing," Mrs Brennan said. "She was so excited to be a part of something like this, that really gives kids in a regional area such a wonderful opportunity to be a part of something much bigger. Really, something that has brought people together all over the world."

Since its inception in 2006, the biennial event has grown into an international dance sensation, with more than two million people taking part.

Ausdance NSW director Michelle Silby said the aim is to roll the event out across the country by 2016.

Arts Mid North Coast's Kevin Williams said he made a pitch for Port Macquarie to be considered for the event when he attended a regional arts council conference in Sydney. "The discussion was for Wollongong and Newcastle to be included with London, Glasgow and Sydney," Williams said. "So I made a case for Port Macquarie as a strong candidate."

with dance here expanding so much through visiting troupes coming to the Glasshouse and our dancers performing well at the Sydney Eisteddfod."

He said the great turn out for Sunday's event was testament to the growing love for dance across the region and gave an opportunity for dance schools in the area to come together.

La Vive Classique Academy of Dance, Bago Magic and the Wauchope and Port Macquarie Performing Arts schools joined everyday people in the performance.

It was taught over a number of free workshops at the Glasshouse, and through access to an online teaching video of the short routine.

Sunday's performance has been filmed and is set be uploaded to the Big Dance international website in coming days.

To view their performance or to see more visit www.bigdance.org.uk

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