Gratitude prompts dance aid

HANNEKE Taylor ushers in a class full of eager ballet students to her East Warwick studio.

The group, all girls in this case, are wearing tights, leotards and pink slippers with their hair neatly done in buns.

They stand at the barre while listening to music resonating from the sound system. Then they move to the centre of the hall to dance on the Tarkett (read: expensive) covering over the timber floor while checking out their movements on the mirrored wall.

Mrs Taylor is conscious she could have lost all that had the Killarney School of Dance (KSD) studio gone under in the two floods which struck Warwick during Christmas.

“We were fortunate to have survived unscathed,” she said.

“We didn't have anything up for the first flood. It was unexpected and I couldn't get to town to make preparations. No-one who had a key could access the area but someone said to me that night the studio had gone under.

“I told my husband I didn't care if I had to swim (from Acacia Plateau), I was going to get there the next morning. Fortunately, everything was OK and the water peaked about 100 metres from the car park.

“We were better prepared the second time: We put everything up on the small stage area, including the $3000 of costumes which had been on the floor of the office during the first flood.

“We had the piano up on three bricks: Lifting that up was fun.”

Like other industries, the bush telegraph of dancing teachers has been running hot since the floods.

Several dance schools sustained flood damage, including a couple which compete against KSD at eisteddfods.

“Wallace Academy at Ipswich lost both dance floors and Kim's Dance School (at Goodna) was completely inundated,” Mrs Taylor said.

“They lost everything and have relocated temporarily to a community hall nearby… but can only operate for a few days a week as the premises are shared.

“They lost their flooring, a heap of costumes, (acrobatics) mats – all their equipment.

"The owners of the hall (leased by Kim's Dance Studio) will rebuild … but it'll be a while before they can move back in.”

Fortunately most dancers' homes escaped major damage and other parents have sponsored children who were impacted.

In an effort to help, Mrs Taylor has organised a KSD flood relief charity concert on Sunday, March 6.

The 2.30pm concert will feature both performance dances and a selection from the 2010 recital in December. About 150 children will be involved.

Tickets, at $10, are available from the Southern Downs Regional Council Warwick office.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be distributed to Kim's Dance School and the twice-evacuated community of Condamine. Mrs Taylor said Condamine residents were struggling to fund repairs to their homes and the money would go towards that.

Charity concert

When: Sunday, March 6, 2.30pm at Warwick Town Hall

Beneficiaries: Kim's Dance School, Goodna, and the Condamine community

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