'Fair go' for our kids

Kerrie Bates with students from her dance studio
Kerrie Bates with students from her dance studio

KERRIE Renee Dance Studio, Wingham has recently taken on the task of petitioning for the Taree and District Eisteddfod to introduce 'small school' dance sections onto the program.

As the popularity of the eisteddfod attracts schools from larger metropolitan areas, Kerrie has been concerned that smaller schools in the area are either reducing their number of entrants or pulling out of the eisteddfod altogether to seek eisteddfods in other regions.

Kerrie is now calling on the community and other schools to come together so local kids get "a fair go."

"We have to recognise that the majority of kids in small regional towns dance for the love of it", she said. "Our kids cannot compete on a level playing field when they are up against elite schools or full time dancers from cities of millions."

Kerrie has the support of other smaller school principals in Wingham, Taree and Port Macquarie and even principals and teachers of larger schools have signed the petition. "We've had some great names from the dance community sign the petition, from current studio owners and teachers to some of the most influential dance school owners in the area over the past 30 years" she said.

As a result of the suggestions put forward by Kerrie, the Taree and District Eisteddfod committee said it is now looking into this and has already got some ideas on paper to table at a meeting on July 6. The meeting is open to dance teachers and parents and the committee welcomes ideas and input.

Kerrie has been involved in the Taree Eisteddfod since she was six years old. She danced for many years on the stage, became a professional dancer herself and then came back to the area five years ago to set up a dance studio. "I absolutely love and recognize the massive effort and time the committee put into the eisteddfod year in and year out", said Kerrie. "All we ask is that all our local kids, at all levels, from all sized schools be given their chance to shine, that's really what it's about".

KR Dance Studio will deliver their petition at the July meeting of the eisteddfod committee.

To sign the online petition you can visit the Kerrie Renee Dance Studio, Wingham Facebook page and follow the link.