It was amazing, how much you learn from it and the people that you meet, just the experience overall is incredibleAbbey Copeland
Be it on stage or behind the scenes, two Border teenagers can't wait to be involved in their biggest production ever this week.
Wodonga Senior Secondary College students Abbey Copeland, 16, and Tegan Debnam, 17, will be part of Saturday's Victorian State Schools Spectacular at Melbourne Arena.
They will join about 3000 singers, musicians and dancers, including groups from six North East schools, in the annual showcase, which will also be televised later.
Abbey, of year 11, is among 20 principal dancers chosen after a three-round audition process and will perform in seven dances, mostly jazz and hip hop with "a few busy costume changes".
Year 12 student Tegan is one of only 10 secondary school students selected for stage management and will be assisting, coincidentally, the principal dancers this week.
"People don't realise what goes on behind the scenes," she said.
"Obviously the show is the main thing everyone sees but I think it's fun putting the show together."
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Preparing for the spectacular has meant frequent weekend trips to Melbourne for both students rehearsing or, in Tegan's case, helping the performers practise.
"Make sure people are in the rooms at the right time, setting up rooms for orchestra rehearsals, that sort of stuff," she said.
Combining such a commitment with her final year at school required "definitely a lot of juggling but all my teachers have been really good with it".
"It's definitely prioritising and making sure that you get sleep as well as doing all your study," Tegan said.
Abbey, who is in her 10th year of dancing and studies at Border DanceWorks, was also a principal dancer in last year's spectacular.
"It was amazing," she said.
"How much you learn from it and the people that you meet, just the experience overall is incredible."
Both girls want to progress in their crafts, but first comes show week.
"It's so full-on," Tegan said.
"You're always doing something and you're busy, so I'm just excited to do it on that sort of scale."
Abbey said performing on the arena was quite different to the studio experience.
"Knowing your entrances and your exits, your costume changes, once you get used to that, everything's fine," the principal dancer said.