Rise to Glory at Wakakiri Dance Festival!

Thursday, 25 Aug 2022

The story of how a stolen bike leads to world domination, gained multiple performance and production awards for the Primary dance and drama students at Mary MacKillop Catholic College!  

A team of junior performers have just returned from their first every entry into the Queensland division of Wakakirri held in Brisbane. The Wakakirri Story-Dance Festival is a national program that helps schools develop student engagement and wellbeing through participation in the performing arts.   

The Colleges’ performance titled ‘Muhammad Ali's Rise to Glory’ was an idea inspired by the 2022 Wakakirri theme of RISE and the notion that great stories inspire change.  Middle Leader of Arts and Student Engagement, Mrs Jess Burke along with Dance and Drama Teacher, Ms Chloe Lauverjon, who developed this idea into an inspiring story and award-winning performance for her students to showcase at this state-wide festival and competition.  “We wanted to inspire students to continue to fight adversity and understand the importance of this story, while ensuring our content was age appropriate and sensitive to cultural issues” says Ms Lauverjon. 

It’s a story that reminds us how important it is to accept people for who they are, no matter their differences. Miss Sophilee Condon, Year 5 performer. 

Student from Year 3 to 7 have been rehearsing for this performance since the commencement of the school year, committing many additional hours to perfect the show. “It was great to see so many young students show interest in participating in this event, and it’s really important that they have fun throughout the process” says Chloe. 

This performance offered a great opportunity for so many students to learn about overcoming adversities, resilience and perseverance.  Muhammad Ali’s story of challenging acceptance in society draws parallels to other common issues we face today. Ms Burke says “We want all students to learn how to embrace persistence and resilience as a strength and really challenge the mindset with our young people”. 

The cast of 27 performed in front of a sold-out crowd of over 1000 people at the Logan Entertainment Centre and came away with a nomination for the National Festival Award: Human Rights Story Award, as well as 5 awards in the excellence category for theme and concept, ensemble, staging, costume design and sound track mix.