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16 September 2020
By SARAH MATTHEWS
Stawell’s Bonnie Mellor hoped to win ‘at least one medal’ at the 2020 DanceStar and Glee Victorian State Championships – she claimed six.
Bonnie, 14, a talented ‘triple threat’ singer, actor and dancer, won gold for her glee audition in the secondary junior section.
She also picked up silver for her jazz and lyrical auditions along with her glee downtempo solo, and bronze for her contemporary solo and glee uptempo solo.
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Bonnie, who loves taking to the stage in productions and shared the lead role in Horsham Arts Council’s production of Annie in 2017, hopes to forge a career in the industry.
Her glee audition, chosen by the judges, was right up her alley.
“It was musical theatre, which is one of my favourite styles to sing, so it was pretty good,” Bonnie said.
“One of my favourite musicals at the moment is called Hamilton. I’d love to play one of the Schuyler sisters one day – that would be a dream.”
Bonnie, who is in year nine at Marian College, Ararat, will attend Ballarat Grammar on a performing arts scholarship next year.
“I definitely will be – hopefully – competing again next year. Hopefully the restrictions will be lifted and we’ll actually be able to go to the competitions,” she said.
Bonnie has been participating in dancestar and glee competitions for several years and started competing individually about four years ago.
She has won a swag of medals, including bronze at the national championships in Queensland in 2018.
The national competition has been cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s disappointing, but it is what it is,” Bonnie said.
“I’m not really sure what’s next, we’ll just see what the future holds.”
Bonnie’s mother Cherie said she was rapt to see her daughter’s hard work pay off.
“With her results she got a special message sent to her by the organiser, praising her for ‘nailing’ her glee audition and ‘wowing’ the judges,” she said.
“That was a proud parent moment.”
Bonnie was one of four Dynamic Dance Ararat students to compete in this year’s state dancestar championships.
Studio manager Rachel Koenig said all four qualified for the state titles after impressing at regional events.
“We typically have a higher number of students participating but this year, because of the online format, we only had four,” she said.
“We are really proud of all our girls, they did a wonderful job.”
Emma Blackie competed in old-skool sections, claiming silver for her lyrical audition and bronze for her jazz audition.
Alicia Linsley earned runner-up honours in the secondary senior section jazz auditions, awarded a silver medal for her efforts.
“Alicia and Emma Lavery also performed beautiful solos in tough sections,” Miss Koenig said.
She said the audition-based format of glee and dancestar competitions was a major benefit for people looking to further their performing arts experience.
“Unlike eisteddfods where you might practise the one piece for a year, with dancestar and glee competitions, the students have half an hour to learn choreography or a song and then they have to perform it,” she said.
“This sort of format provides industry-like experience. If you come first in a glee audition, you get the job.
“It’s a great opportunity for people looking to pursue roles in musical theatre.”
Miss Koenig said it was unfortunate organisers were forced to cancel the national championships.
“Because of the girls’ results, they would have been likely to go through to the nationals,” she said.
“It’s a shame but hopefully it provides them with some drive to come back and do it again next year.”
The entire September 16, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!