TOP TAP: Dancers from The Ritz (back, from left) Josie Perkins, Ena Furness, Naima Furness, (front) Tabitha Cover and Elijah Boland before a performance.
TOP TAP: Dancers from The Ritz (back, from left) Josie Perkins, Ena Furness, Naima Furness, (front) Tabitha Cover and Elijah Boland before a performance. Lyn Irwin-Kelly

Dancers puttin' on the Ritz

RITZ Performing Academy will hold an Annual Gala and High Tea on Saturday, August 17.

Director Rhonda Binney said the school preferred not to have an end-of-year production as many students were preparing for exams at that time.

Two shows will be held, at 11am and 2.30pm.

The morning session will showcase dancing and cover ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and contemporary styles.

At 2.30pm, the focus shifts to musical theatre and 20 pieces, incorporating songs and monologues, will form threads of a story and be presented in a cabaret format.

"It will showcase what we have been working on together throughout the year,” Ms Binney said.

Rather than the myth of pushy stage parents, Ms Binney said most of the young performers were committed to 'achieving their own pathways'.

Former student Matthew Manahan has a part in the national tour of Hair.

Dancer Sophie Maddock is doing a pre-professional year at the National theatre Ballet School in Melbourne and had joined a tour with the Melbourne City Ballet. Another 'old boy', Robbie McMillan is working in the West End in London.

Other students are dancing in professional companies in Europe while one boy is a musical performer for a Norwegian cruise line.

"The percentage of successful kids relative to the massive schools is quite extraordinary,” she said.

In the 14 years the school has been established in Stanthorpe, 10 students have achieved teaching level qualifications.

Former students have also come back to teach and mentor young performers, telling them about auditions and getting an agent.

The Ritz Performing Academy Showcase and High Tea will be held on Saturday, August 17 from 11am at 4/7 Reeves Road, Stanthorpe.

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