The competition side of the BlueScope WIN Wollongong Eisteddfod culminated on the weekend with the presentation of major dance awards.
The winners were announced at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, following a week long of intense competition which attracted large numbers of local dancers, and interstate entrants.
Eisteddfod committee chairperson Tony Purdon said the dance entries were up by 20 per cent this year, which marks the eisteddfod’s 120th anniversary.
‘‘We had people coming from as far a field as Hobart and Burleigh Heads so we are obviously doing something right to attract these people,’’ he said.
There were 2500 dance items performed as group or soloist events over the week, he said.
‘‘I think our success has been due to the people involved and the way the eisteddfod is run,’’ Mr Purdon said.
‘‘We have created a level of prestige and we are admired by those in the performing arts community.’’
Mr Purdon said Wollongong Eisteddfod was widely regarded as a welcoming and friendly event, which had a lovely backstage atmosphere between competitors.
The eisteddfod’s music, vocals and speech and drama sections were held in June.
The major dance award winners were: classical ballet scholarship ($2000) Thomas Dilley of Bateau Bay; theatrical dance scholarship ($2000) Ashley Kate Walsh of Burleigh Heads; tap dance scholarship ($2000) Soraya Zapata of Farmborough Heights.
The Ken Charker Memorial awards for tap dancing went to Phoenix Brown of Figtree (junior) and Ashley Kate Walsh of Burleigh Heads (senior).
The Berisse Trophy for the district competitor, 12 years and under, showing the most potential in dance went to Mia Atkinson of Farmborough Heights.
Lucy Angel of Mount Pleasant, 12, and Riley Lapham, 14, of Mount Kembla won the junior and senior ballet shields.
Hoyori Maruo of Kogarah and Aaron Matheson of Homebush Bay won scholarships to Dance World Studios in Melbourne.
A Showcase of Talent, featuring performances by a selection of competitors from the eisteddfod, will be presented at the IPAC on Saturday, July 26, at 2pm. Tickets are $20.