Spotlight on Koori dancers at Woolgoolga

FOR the second day, Woolgoolga High School is the venue for a very special workshop featuring 72 indigenous students who have been selected to open the world's biggest variety show.

The students, aged from 7 to 17, have travelled from seven schools on the North Coast to rehearse their parts for producers of the 21st annual Schools Spectacular to be held in Sydney next month.

The Spectacular, which features 3000 young performers from public schools all over NSW, has been listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's biggest variety show.

It will open with a dance specially choreographed by renowned indigenous performer, Adrian Ross, assisted by the students and their dance teachers.

The show, to be held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, each year attracts audiences in excess of 25,000 over three performances.

To celebrate the Spectacular's 21st birthday, Director Mary Lopez, and her production team wanted a very special and meaningful opening segment, representing a welcome by indigenous Australians.

Adrian Ross, Australia's foremost didgeridoo player and leading exponent of Aboriginal culture, was invited to choreograph the segment.

Mr Ross has performed nationally and internationally at major cultural events and festivals, and considers it an honour to train the young people for this significant event.

Yesterday and today's workshop will bring the group together for the first time, in front of Spectacular director, Mary Lopez, producer, Dianne Duff, dance director, Peter Cook and Regional Arts Co-ordinator, Peter Piaud.

Many of the schools and parents have been fundraising to meet the costs of the trip and the excitement is building.

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