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22 September, 2021

A little more glam than common

I’ve never been to an eisteddfod of any kind in my entire life.

Somehow I’ve successfully avoided all awkward viewings and participation right through school and managed to avoid any bad reality TV made about them, so I really had no idea what to expect upon arrival at the Common People Dance Eisteddfod, as the only thing Common People or eisteddfod related that I had witnessed was a Brisbane Festival Street Serenades I’d stumbled upon, where I witnessed (learnt?) a bunch of dance moves named after Brisbane suburbs.

That was fun, but I was a bit nervous about doing again at South Bank. I didn’t know if I was going to spend my evening waving my arms about or witnessing arms waving about.

Upon arrival, I felt a little underdressed, positioning myself near a large group of sequin-clad excitement.

I waited and watched the sparkly scene unfold, more and more colours and glitter appearing, while a string of ’80s and ’90s classics blared through the Piazza.

There was a buzz and a sense of camaraderie in the air and as the lights dimmed I found out why. The sequin-clad people I were sitting with were the Common People!

THEY were the ones about to dance, and here I was about to witness hours and hours of choreography wrapped up into performance.

The different sides of Brisbane were pitted against each other; North, South, East and West, as well as the Gold and Sunshine Coast.

Each team dressed in a different colour, they appeared on stage presenting their routines; the golden clad Northside (apparently last year’s winners) started strong by choosing the ’80s classic Xanadu and finished with roller skates

The purple-sequinned Westside went hard with an impressive routine, hula hoops and the spectacular choice of Prince’s Batdance to match their colour.

The Gold Coast, dressed in red, chose ’80s glam rock and relied on their moves to inspire, while the sparkling blue of Sunshine Coast went the opposite way, using more props than dance moves to impress.

A couple of wildcard entrants from Toowoomba, Geebung and Bundaberg kept the night pedalling along, until the Eastside team, a dream in silver, chose Celine Dion and a bizarre Star Wars-Love Boat-Titanic combination routine.

Finally, the rainbow clad Southside managed to strike a wonderfully fine balance between props, choreography and comedy, and managed to take the grand prize away in a minor faux dance-off and celebration at the end.

Did I find out if I liked eisteddfods at my first one on Sunday night?

I’m still not sure.

But I did a little further research and discovered a great respect for the Common People Dance Project, an awesome company that run dance classes and workshops for absolutely anyone who wants to move to music (no dance experience required), and bring together people of all walks of life for one purpose; to have fun.

It’s so refreshing and heartwarming to think all the people who participated on Sunday evening were there purely for the love, and “common people” that may have never met if they didn’t have a desire to do something outside their houses and day to day lives.

While I’m not 100% convinced I need to attend any more eisteddfods for a while, I’m 100% supportive of any performance that makes people happy, and makes both performers and audience members feel a little more glam and a little less common.

I left this one with a sense of happiness and hope.

And maybe a sequin or two and a little bit of glitter in my handbag.