State Winners

There was jubilation from students, staff and families when Helena College was announced as the WA State Winners in the national story dance competition, Wakakirri, at the Perth Concert Hall on Monday 2 September.

Wakakirri is Australia’s biggest performing arts festival for schools, where the goal is to present a topic or issue in a seven-minute story dance and change the way people think.

The Helena College entry was titled Sugar War and looked at the detrimental effect that sugar has on our physical and mental well-being.

With a cast of 95 from Years 3 to 6, the story starts in the supermarket where sugary foods compete with healthy food, trying to entrance the buyer with bright packaging and slick marketing. At school, the difference is shown between students who ate sugary foods (tired, listless, moody) and those who chose healthier options (bright, bouncy, happy). Backed by catchy pop songs, the story dance brings all the students onto the stage for the positive message at the end.

‘A clear narrative that was very easy to follow, very effective choreography and creative costuming made for a delightful story.’ Sarah Harmony, WA Wakakirri judge

Wakakirri Coordinator Adriana Martino was in Italy on long service leave for the finals but managed to keep in touch with her cast throughout the evening via FaceTime. She was visibly emotional when she learned they had won the finals and earned a nomination ‘National Story of the Year’.

‘I was able to enjoy the performance and results with staff and students backstage as it happened, from halfway across the world in Italy. To say I was beyond proud of our talented children would be an understatement. At each rehearsal and performance, our students were dedicated, committed and most of all united, as they worked together, giving it their all. The enjoyment and passion in the students’ performance was truly spectacular.’ Adrianna Martino

The Wakakirri judging panel will watch the recorded performance of state and regional winners to decide on a national winner. This will be announced on the Wakakirri website on 17 October.

Helena doesn’t audition students for Wakakirri – it’s open to any student (Year 3 to Year 6) who is prepared to commit to working together to produce the best possible outcome. This is why the cast was the biggest we’ve ever had in four years of entering Wakakirri.

‘We have a real mix of students; boys, girls, experienced dancers and best of all, those who have never danced or been on stage but wanted to take a risk and try something new. All students are encouraged and invited to join our Wakakirri team – everyone is welcome.’ Adriana Martino

In addition to winning the state finals, we are very proud of achieving the following awards:

  • Spirit of Wakakirri
  • Best t-shirt design
  • Best individual costume design
  • Well-Rehearsed Performance
  • Excellent Group Dance
  • Excellent Staging – Combination of all Aspects
  • Excellent Construction and Clarity
  • Excellent Overall Costume Design

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