You’ve probably seen them at a local event or even on TV in the RAC Perth Christmas Pageant – beaming in their costumes, buzzing with excitement and dancing their hearts out. They are the troupe from Roxanne’s Dance Workshop (RDW) run by Gingin local Roxanne Fewster and they recently celebrated 20 years of dance performance, fun and friendship.
It started in 1998 in Woodridge with a Spice Girls routine Roxanne put together for the local Spring Fair after which she never looked back – going on to teach there for 13 years. Classes have also been held in Lancelin, Gingin, Bindoon, Calingiri and Moora and they have entertained the crowds at the Gingin British Car Day for 16 years, Bindoon Show for 7, Wear Ya Wellies and Moora Show for 3, plus many more.
RDW has now taught more than 1000 girls and boys aged 2 and up fun dance, tap and acrobatic classes.
“Over the 20 years, many have received their 5 and 10 year medals for Dance with us”, said Roxanne. Gingin Mum Selga Beckwith has 5 daughters who have danced with RDW over a 15-year period: “We love our dance family like they are our own.”
Roxanne, who started dancing at the age of 3, also did calisthenics as a child and was a student with the WA Academy of Dance and Drama in Lancelin when she was asked to be their teacher at just 17.
“I have taught girls who have since grown up and had daughters who have also become my students! I’ve also taught Aerobics, Zumba and Aqua aerobics,” she enthused. “I love the kids and seeing them progress and enjoy themselves, especially those that start shy. I also love the opportunity to be creative.”
Kelly McDiarmid has been a Teacher at RDW for 7 years and her daughters have been with the group for 11 years. She said, “It’s been a pleasure working along side Roxanne and teaching at RDW. Our way of teaching is always to inspire country kids and give them as many fun opportunities as possible.” At RDW, older students are role models to the younger dancers and are given the chance to assist in teaching the classes which they embrace enthusiastically.
The end of year concert at Sacred Heart College in Sorrento is a culmination of their year’s work and much anticipated as the students perform on a big stage with professional lighting and the audience in tiered seating.
RDW is a “fun” dance group and generally do not undertake exams or participate in competitions but in July 2017 were invited to compete in the new Country Dance Challenge held in Northam, where 27 students participated. They were also part of the 2017 Northam Performing Arts Festival in June.
“We have also been lucky enough to be selected to be part of the RAC Channel 7 Christmas Pageant since 2004 — only missing 2015 due to it being cancelled for bad weather and 2016 for other reasons.” Roxanne explained.
“A group of our students from Gingin, Bindoon and Moora were so excited to be back in it this year and we all had so much fun. Many of our younger students cannot wait for the year they are old enough to be eligible to participate.”
To find out more, see RDW’s Facebook page or contact Roxanne on 0419192511.