Primary and Secondary students have been singing, dancing and acting at workshops, performances and events coordinated by CaSPA – Sydney Catholic Schools dynamic performing arts program.
On 12 August, 32 students took part in a day of hip-hop at CaSPA’s Secondary Boys Boot Camp. The Years 7 to 10 boys from five Sydney Catholic schools learnt new moves with Jason Lewis, one of Australia’s foremost dancers, choreographers and hip-hop specialist. The day also provided an opportunity to be with like-minded peers in a creative and expressive environment.
“(At the Boot Camp) you make new friends and you dance – and dance is life!”
Christopher Finos from Marist Catholic College Penshurst said he really enjoyed the experience.
“I met a whole bunch of new people and learnt something new about dancing and it’s helped me enjoy it even more than I have been.”
“I really enjoyed today because hip-hop is my passion and that’s what we did,” said Tom Benfield from St Mary’s Cathedral College.
“I loved it,” said Antonius Samaan from Patrician Brothers’ College Fairfield. “More people should do it because you make new friends and you dance – and dance is life!”
Other students have been participating in workshops to develop their skills in singing, dancing and acting as part of CaSPA’s ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Let’s Sing’, ‘Let’s Act’ series.
CaSPA’s Danceworks and Junior Theatreworks for students gifted in these disciplines, have been on the road, showcasing their skills at 10 schools across the Archdiocese. Another group of students performed at Sydney Catholic Schools Year 12 Indigenous Awards and to open the Sisters of St Joseph’s Social Justice Conference.
Earlier in the month, 107 dancers, actors and singers who have been part of CaSPA’s ensemble program gathered at Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College at Burwood for their ‘CaSPA Live TV’ performance.
During Terms 1, 2 and 3, the students developed their skills and learnt to perform for the camera as this year’s performance was recorded and presented as a TV program.
The show featured take-offs of popular TV programs – murder mysteries, soap operas, super heroes, and voice and dance shows. The theme of the show was ‘family as a guiding compass of life’ and live on stage was CaSPA’s very own ‘family’ played by four young actors from the drama ensemble group. As the ‘family of four’ watched a small TV, ‘CaSPA Live TV’ was beamed onto a large screen for the audience of family, friends and representatives from Sydney Catholic Schools.
During Terms 1, 2 and 3, the students developed their skills in dance, drama and vocal and learnt to perform for the camera…
Tony Ray-Ray, 12, who was part of the junior drama ensemble, said it was great to see everything they worked for pay-off on the night.
In Year 7 at De La Salle College Ashfield, Tony said performing for the camera was different to the theatre and it was good to get a feel for acting when you are being filmed.
“You can take another shot with the camera but you focus to try and get it right the first time.”
Director, Jennie-Lee Van Gelder said the 107 students involved in the dance, drama and vocal ensembles had been rehearsing once a week since the beginning of Term 1 after auditioning in Term 4 last year.
“It was a big thing to pull off and a significant commitment, and the students really excelled on the night.”
At the end of the TV show, the dance, drama and voice ensembles gathered on the stage for a live final all singing-all dancing-all acting extravaganza!
An awards ceremony followed with presentations made to four adults who have supported and contributed to the performing arts in Sydney Catholic Schools. Twelve students were also awarded with six chosen by their tutors and six spirit awards voted on by the students in the senior and junior ensembles. The spirit awards acknowledged students who were outstanding role models to all students, committed, team-oriented, hard-working, responsible and who have shown leadership within the CaSPA program for the year.
CaSPA Ensemble Awards (tutor selected):
- Dance: Bernard Lund, St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill
- Junior Drama: Caitlin Monk, Aquinas Catholic College Menai
- Senior Drama: Brooke Salisbury, Bethany College Hurstville
- Red Team Vocals: Sian Fuller, St Patrick’s College Sutherland
- Blue Team Vocals: Hannah Ayoub, St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove
- Green Team Vocals: Brendan Mullens, Marcellin College Randwick
CaSPA Ensemble Spirit Awards (student voted):
- Dance: Mary Murray, St Mary’s Star of the Sea Primary Hurstville
- Junior Drama: Xavier Watkins, Marist College Eastwood
- Senior Drama: Romina Bava, Bethlehem College Ashfield
- Red Team Vocals: Annabelle Saab, St Raphael’s Primary Hurstville South
- Blue Team Vocals: Rebecca Daher, St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove.