DANCING DYNAMOS: (L to R from back) Jesse, Steve, Vince, Ian, Merryn, Rob, Sean, Dean, Heath, David, middle Tim, Mike, Michael and Blane, front Shakira, Hannah and Tayla.
DANCING DYNAMOS: (L to R from back) Jesse, Steve, Vince, Ian, Merryn, Rob, Sean, Dean, Heath, David, middle Tim, Mike, Michael and Blane, front Shakira, Hannah and Tayla.

Dancing dads step it up

WHEN you're not being the taxi service, fathers of eisteddfod kids do a lot of sitting around at rehearsals.

For 13 local dads, whose children are involved with Harbour Performing Arts Centre, these hours have seen the formation of their own dance troupe - The Nutcrackers.

"We just wanted some of the limelight for ourselves," Michael Jones, dancing dad and local optometrist said with a smile.

Being involved in the performing arts takes many hours of dedication, not just from the student.

"I call it the eisteddfod vortex. It is all consuming. As dads we could feel quite useless; we can't do hair or make up so we thought 'let's do something for us', and that's where it all started. Also it was the perfect chance to embarrass the kids."

They enlisted the help of Harbour Performing Arts Centre dance teacher, Merryn Gould.

The Nutcracker's average age is 47 and they come from all walks of life including a doctor, an optometrist, engineers, a physiotherapist "which was handy" and a couple of tradies.

"Rehearsing the routine was a bonding time we likened it to being in a footy team. You have to work together, you all have to all co-ordinate and of course, we would have a few beers afterwards."

They first performed at the HPAC end of year concert and took to the stage again last weekend in the "mature and motivated" section of the eisteddfod at Jetty Memorial Theatre.

And how did their ballet, hip-hop, funk and jazz fusion number stack up against the competition?

"We smashed it. We got a standing ovation and everyone was screaming and yelling. We were so pumped. We're still hyped it was a great experience.

"We would like to give a big thank you to Merryn Gould as it wouldn't have happened without her guidance and patience."

The crowd at the Jetty Theatre weren't the only ones entertained last Saturday.

"Later that night we ended up at Charlie's Restaurant at Pacific Bay. We were still wearing our "dancing dads" t-shirts and were being asked about it.

"A lady named Heather was celebrating her 60th birthday at the restaurant so we did a flash mob just for her."



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