Roxanne’s Dance Workshop (RDW) in Gingin have been nurturing the talent of the region for nearly a quarter of century and recently showcased their dancers in the 2020 Perth Christmas Pageant, which they have been attending since 2004.
Participating in the pageant is a RDW rite of passage, and for some it was their pageant debut. Acacia Houston, 8 years, has been dancing with Roxanne for 6 years. She has eagerly watched her older brother Zane in the troupe from the roadside for many years waiting for her chance to join.
“I’m so lucky I’m old enough,” gushed Acacia. “This is the most exciting day of my life.”
There were also a number of young pageant veterans in the 2020 troupe supporting the children. Among these were Maryssa and Alora Mettam who have danced with Roxanne for 13 and 11 years respectively. These young adults provide positive role models for the children and care for them like family.
Owner Roxanne Fewster began her journey assisting her own dance teacher as a teenager and pulled together her first performance in the late 90’s for the Woodridge Spring Fair.
“I asked a few of the younger girls I knew if they would like to put together a dance routine for a display at the fair. Before I knew it, I had just under twenty girls ranging from 6-12 years wanting to participate,” said Roxanne.
“The parents whipped up some costumes and our first ever routine was Stop by the Spice Girls! From there the parents asked me about starting up classes and Roxanne’s Dance Workshop just grew from there.
“We held local concerts at the end of the year in each location and then travelled to Gingin to hold our concerts at the Granville Hall.
“Our Gingin classes started in 2002. Next was Bindoon in 2011. In 2012 I took RDW to Calingiri for the year and due to demand we then branched out even further to Moora. The support we get from our country dance families is amazing!
“In 2009 my friend Kelly McDiarmid started assisting me in Lancelin and then ran my Lancelin classes from 2010. Kelly has also been travelling with me to Moora for 7 years and assists with Gingin too — this will be her 15th year!
“My RDW crew has grown, with Nikki and Kaylee Woods assisting with acro and dance —- they have been with me for 16 years. I am forever grateful for all the love and help they give me and they are such a valued part of the team! My whole family have also been right behind me every step of the way, and always there on the biggest day of our year at the end of year concert!
“We are all excited that 2022 will see us head into our 25th year and I still can’t believe that from that one little dance event at a local fair has seen small country business Roxanne’s Dance Workshop reach such an amazing milestone. Next year will be all about celebrations with past and present students and their families!
“I love everything about what we do for students. We are about having fun while learning to dance or acro. We are a family — every one of our students mean the world to us, along with their families! The joy of seeing some that start off very shy to just coming out of their shell is worth every minute of it!”
Roxanne concluded, “We have the motto that everyone deserves the chance to shine and have their turn in the front row!”