DANCE TIME: Dance teacher Karla Lovell from Karla's Dance Collective and Scarlett Dowling who placed highly commended in her contemporary solo at the Biloela Eisteddfod.
DANCE TIME: Dance teacher Karla Lovell from Karla's Dance Collective and Scarlett Dowling who placed highly commended in her contemporary solo at the Biloela Eisteddfod. Zhanae Conway-Dodd

GALLERY: Weeks of prep pay off on the stage for dancers

BALANCING classroom exams and jazz shoes, Karla Lovell first started teaching dance at the tender age of 14.

The Biloela local, who is now 19, has grown up with her students seeing them through dance exams and eisteddfods around Queensland.

This week, after several late nights and early mornings, Karla had the chance to see her hard work come to life on the Civic Centre stage as her students took the Biloela Eisteddfod by storm.

"It is stressful but it is great to see them on stage,” Karla said.

"It is a sigh of relief to know they've done a good job and that it has all been worth it.”

Karla originally took over the dance studio from her own teacher when she retired in 2013 and has since grown the studio to over 60 students.

"We are around 60 to 70 students now which is fabulous but it still feels really small, we have a nice little family feel,” she said.

During the eisteddfod Karla said it was a matter of being organised and getting up early to take care of the administration of the business before teaching from 3pm until 8.30pm each night.

"We also had dress rehearsals at the Civic Centre for two nights before everything began and it was crazy,” she said.

"The most fun part of the process though is the costumes.

"I actually have one of my dance mums who has done a bit of it for me this year,” she said.

"I send her what I want and she gets me all the pretty stuff and organises it all for me. It's super fun.”

Scarlett Dowling, 11, was just one of Karla's students who competed at the eisteddfod and knows all about the weeks of preparation for the event.

"I've been dancing for the last five years,” Scarlett said.

"I had nothing to do back then and I thought, oh I could probably try that and I have loved it ever since.

"My favourite part of dancing is going to the eisteddfods and all the opportunities you get as a dancer travelling to different places.”

On Tuesday Scarlett had the chance to compete in her favourite section, the under 12 contemporary solos.

She placed highly commended and couldn't be happier.

"Contemporary is my favourite because it is really abstract and I love how it is all about free movement,” she said.

"It is scary waiting to go on stage because you are worried you're going to stuff up the dance but it's really fun.

"I am going to keep dancing for as long as I can.”



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