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19 November, 2021

FNQ Dance Academy (FNQDA) will celebrate 10 years

Wednesday 17 November 2021. FNQ Dance Academy (FNQDA) will celebrate 10 years with a concert spectacular at Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) on Sunday 28 November 2021.

Back row l-r: Madeleine Boundy (8), Sarah Thorne, Sophie Hewitt (10), Sienna Lopes (9); Front row l-r: Tiffany Kay (12), Danika Prien (14) and Justin Molford (9). Photo by Romy Siegmann

Comprising more than 250 students between five and 18 years of age with a brand-new wardrobe of 700+ costumes, Decades of Dance will showcase history’s pivotal moments with a dance tribute throughout the decades from the 1900s until now. 

Spanning all dance genres from classical ballet en pointe to lyrical, jazz, tap, musical theatre, contemporary, and hip-hop, Decades of Dance will be FNQDA’s most ambitious concert yet when it presents 32 stellar new routines across two shows (10.30am and 4pm). 

Academy Director and founder Sarah Thorne said the concert features their 10 graduating year 12 students, as the ‘Class of 21’ who have been assigned with a review of major historical events as part of their ‘finals’. Most of these dancers are foundation students who have been with the school since it was established 10 years ago. 

Journeying from the roaring twenties ‘charleston’ jazz to Andrews Sisters’ forties tap, seventies ‘disco’ and all the current dance trends, Decades of Dance will stop along the way to explore some of history’s major milestones – from the wartime and the Great Depression to the moon landing, climate change and COVID-19. 

“There was never any doubt that this year’s concert would have to be extraordinary and after all the hard work I can assure audiences, it will be deserving of 10 years and our students’ talent, dedication and love of dance. It also celebrates one of our most important core values, that of family. 

“What we have created, I believe, will knock dance in Cairns, ‘out of the park’, both in performance and production values,” said Sarah. 

According to Sarah, FNQ Dance Academy was born in 2011 after spotting a gap in the market for a performance-based school that specialised in providing foundational learning for dancers under five years of age. 

Combining her experience as a physiotherapist with a special interest in paediatric development with a long dance and teaching career, Sarah’s dream of opening a school that not only ticked the boxes of tuition and performance but focussed on the physiology and personality of each individual, was quickly embraced by Cairns and Far North Queensland’s dance community. It is now one of the largest dance schools in Cairns with over 400 students from ages 2 through to adults enrolled. 

“I believe what sets us apart is our transitional programs from ‘babies’ and ‘tiny tots’ to adults while incorporating both syllabus and recreational based curriculums. 

“FNQDA really is three schools in one. We have our tiny ‘stars of the future’ developing their gross motor skills, recreational dancers who dance for fun and fitness, and finally those dedicated to the craft, who undertake graded exams, and compete nationally with aspirations of a future career in the dance industry. 

“Be it serious or just for fun, there are so many positives of dance training from promoting discipline and good posture to resilience, coordination, teamwork and confidence. 

“What is interesting, is that in our 10th year, we have 33 students who have been with us from the outset, including eight year 12 students, who despite the rigours of academic study, are still dancing, proving you can do both with equal success and achieve high grades,” she said. 

FNQDA will present two Decades of Dance shows on Sunday 28 November at Cairns Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are on sale now from Ticketlink. 

Date and Times Performance times 10.30am and 4.00pm Sunday 28 November 2021.

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