Nearly 40 children spent a weekend celebrating song and dance, with the help of an Australian dance school.
The two-day workshop was organized by Kelly Charles, a Beijing mom who runs the popular Sparkle and Shine music and movement classes. We asked her how she came to work with the Bradford Dance Academy.
“We have been performing and working in collaboration together for a very long time,” Charles said. “Nicole [Bradford] and I learnt dance and singing together at the same school in Sydney, and I was the director of singing at the Academy.”
However it took a nudge from a different generation to make the workshop happen.
“Nicole’s father has been coming to China for 11 years, coaching the Chinese National Karate team. I have been wanting to put together an opportunity for kids like this for a long time, but was very nervous how it would go. So her father pushed me to do it! I asked Nicole and she said yes.”
The weekend culminated in a high-energy performance at WAB’s Founder’s Theater, where the young stars danced to songs from High School Musical and a Taylor Swift hit.
“There were some very, very nervous kids,” Charles told us. “Especially the boys, some of them didn’t want to come back on the second day. Their mums told me they were scared, so please take care of them. But honestly, they came out of their shells and shone. It was so amazing to watch.
“I was so proud of the kids. It took all my strength not to cry during my speech at the end.”
The event was a great success, and Charles is already planning the follow-up.
“We’re doing it again in May,” she said. “We’ve already had four families sign up.”
If you have a budding star of stage or screen in your family who might be interested in the next workshop, contact Kelly Charles via Wechat: Ilovematisse104
Photos: courtesy of Kelly Charles, Andrew Killeen