You get the grey skies outta my way,
You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day.
Turn a mere spark into a flame,
My beats per minute never been the same.
With Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go on high rotation in my head until 3am Monday, I knew I was having my first eisteddfod hangover. Solo. Everyone else in the house – dog included – was sound asleep. I was taking one for the troupe so-to-speak.
After watching scores of dance acts over the weekend I had the jitterbug into my brain. As a certified Gen-Xer I have a soft spot for George Michael but never between 1am and 3am.
More than 6000 students will perform in this year’s Albury Wodonga Eisteddfod run over about two weeks. The 2642 entries are up 25 per cent on 2016, with music (up 64 per cent) and debating (up 57 per cent). I most admire the debaters’ parents, willing to let their children get advice from adjudicators on how to argue better. To date my brood have only been involved in dance and music, meaning they can outmove and out-play me but only sometimes outsmart me.
In the spirit of the leading cultural event now on our doorstep here’s my best eisteddfod tips in the disciplines of Dance, Debating and Music. (I’m not qualified to advise on Highland Dance or Speech and Drama though I love both kilts and dramas.)
- Find a friend adept at eyeliner. I’m eternally grateful for mine, LW.
- Staying on top of the myriad tights your young dancer needs is enough to keep any parent on their toes. At $22 a pop, pack away the brand new Fiesta jazz tights they’ve just peeled off until the next eisteddfod. Do it now or they may run quicker than you! I won’t even mention the foot thongs or undies for their feet. Whoops! Dance slip!!
- Sit in the centre section aisle of the entertainment centre in case you need to make a hasty exit to toilet a young child. (The doors open and close quickly and you may find yourself on the wrong side of them.)
- Highly commended: Pack plenty of snacks and water. Apples are fine for performers waiting back stage but not ideal for younger siblings crunching them in the audience during the classical ballet solos.
- The Affirmative is always right. Hang on! That may be wrong. It would depend on the question. Right?
- As the fourth member of my high school debating team entrusted to write argument but not deliver it, listen to your fourth teammate, known as an optional adviser. (Donald Trump has a few!)
- Positively enjoy being Negative.
- Highly commended: Don’t talk with your mouth full. No arguments!
- Choose your song carefully. Not everyone has to go for baroque.
- Apple hands pianists. I typically only recall food analogies!
- Never eat and play. I remember trying to extract Weet-Bix from a recorder when our youngest was in Musikids.
- Highly commended: Bow most politely, bow once again.
You’ve been a wonderful audience and in order to share with you the Wham! in my brain, let me finish on this note.
C'mon baby, Let's not fight.
We'll go dancing, And everything will be all right.
- The Albury Wodonga Eisteddfod runs until August 12 at the Albury Entertainment Centre (only Thursday, August 3, dance program runs at the Commercial Club Albury auditorium).