The Victorian Dance Festival which attracted more than 2600 dancers to Warrnambool this year has won an Australian Event Award.
The festival was named the Best Cultural, Arts or Music event in Victoria at the industry awards in Queensland on Wednesday night.
Director Kate Meade, from Peterborough, said she was “completely blown away” to be named the winner and said it was a huge team effort.
“I really didn’t think that our lovely little dance event was anywhere near that calibre so I’m in complete shock,” Meade said.
“It’s ultra special for me because it was in Warrnambool this year. The Warrnambool community got behind it and then then the Australian dance community travelled to Warrnambool for it so it is pretty special.”
Meade thanked the Warrnambool City Council, former tourism services manager Peter Abbott and local tourism operators “that they had the vision to celebrate arts events in the region.”
“They really got on board and said ‘we would love to have this event’. Without that it would never have been in Warrnambool,” she said.
The three-day festival included workshops with some of the best Australian and international choreographers and instructors at the Warrnambool Stadium. It culminated with a gala performance at the Lighthouse Theatre.
Katherine McCormick from Step Up Revolution the movie, Josie Walsh from the Joffrey Ballet School in Los Angeles and San Francisco and Ministry of Dance CEO and choreographer Jason Coleman hosted the Warrnambool workshops.
Meade created the festival because she saw a need and has been humbled by the response and the festival's growth.
The first year 200 people attended the event, four years later, this year’s festival attracted 2600 participants from across Australia.
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