GRINNING WINNERS: Hervey Bay Performing Arts College dancers (front) Shayla Barrett, Tahlia Chapman, Jasmin Durston, Miah Mulle, (back) Grace Burden, Ayisha Walker, Emily Howell, Alexis Calis and Brooke Chittenden at a cheer competition on the Gold Coast last weekend.
GRINNING WINNERS: Hervey Bay Performing Arts College dancers (front) Shayla Barrett, Tahlia Chapman, Jasmin Durston, Miah Mulle, (back) Grace Burden, Ayisha Walker, Emily Howell, Alexis Calis and Brooke Chittenden at a cheer competition on the Gold Coast last weekend.

Secret to Bay students success is self-driven independence

AFTER just three years in operation, Hervey Bay Performing Arts College students are collecting accolades across the state.

Competing in the Australian All Star Cheer Foundation WinterFest on the Gold Coast last weekend, a team of nine students placed first in the senior lyrical/contemporary section as well as second in the senior hip hop.

Entering for the first time as a high school in the Maryborough Eisteddfod earlier this month, the school's team won the majority of dance sections for Years 10-12.

The girls, aged 12 to 17, finished top of the podium for jazz and contemporary, also claiming highly commended for a second performance in the same contemporary section.

HBPAC students rounded out the event with a second place in hip hop.

Students spent a term preparing for the competition twice a week focussing on technique and skills training.

Their next big competition will be the state championships at the end of next school term.

School director Jonathon Heeley said the boutique Year 7-12 school focused on training young and talented dancers by splitting the day between studying via distance education and honing their skills in performing arts and dance.

"We are very proud of them and it's great for locals to see we are somewhere for them to send their children as a high school and also to develop them as performers," he said.

"All our students are very self-motivated and self-driven as they only get half the amount of time on academics as mainstream schools.

"They are responsible for their own learning which we have found to be really good for preparing them to be independent."



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