Dance mums open up on what it takes to get eisteddfod-ready
THE smell of hairspray hangs heavy in the air and light glints off countless diamantes as Carla Trueman puts the finishing touches on her daughter Madeleine's hair and make-up.
It's dance eisteddfod day at Maryborough's Brolga Theatre and nine-year-old Madeleine is getting ready for yet another performance.
She has already competed and placed in five categories - winning in tap and own choreography - and her swag of medals clinks together as it hangs over her mum's arm.
The members of the Trueman family are no strangers to the excitement and anticipation of eisteddfod day.
Carla and Madeleine, along with big brother William, have driven close to 20,000km this year for Madeleine's performances and competitions.
Hours in front of hair and make-up tutorials on YouTube, bleary-eyed early mornings and days off work to support her daughter's dream are all part of dance mum Carla's labour of love.
When she arrived at the Brolga having driven from Bowen the morning of yesterday's eisteddfod, a friendly volunteer asked Carla if she needed help carrying the huge pile of bags containing Madeleine's costumes and make-up.
"No, that's OK," Carla said.
"I still have three more trips to do, anyway."
She describes supporting Madeleine's budding dance career as a full-time job - though of course, she has to hold onto her actual full-time job to pay for it.
The way she sees it, though, Madeleine is the one doing all the hard work.
Madeleine studies dance every day of the week, training from 3pm until 8pm, including weekends.
The thrill of the stage and the sense of achievement make it all worthwhile - a sentiment Sunshine Coast mum Jenny Stewart shares.
With four daughters, three of whom are dancers, Jenny knows sacrifice comes with the territory.
Maryborough was their fourth eisteddfod for the year, with three more already booked in.
For the Stewart family, eisteddfod day means 5.30am starts and an arsenal of hairspray, bobby pins and make-up.
Jenny made the trip to Maryborough and back twice this week as her daughters took part in the competition.
For Jenny's daughter Matilda, 10, it is not about winning or losing - being part of the dance community is enough.
"I just enjoy doing the performances and spending time with people," she said.
Maryborough Dance Eisteddfod runs until Sunday at the Brolga Theatre.