Dillmac’s national champions crowned | Shepparton News
The competition is an international event (Australia, New Zealand and the UK) that has a 15-year history, run as a family business by founder and director Kylie Drew.
Dillmac Entertainment, a dance, performing arts, singing and music school with studios in Kyabram and Echuca, has been attending Follow your Dreams regional events for the past five years and has been competing at national level for four years.
This year a team of 15 Dillmac dancers and singers (two team members doing both) visited Adelaide for the nationals.
From January 12 to January 16, Dillmac students were among thousands of contestants and by Friday night, Dillmac had its first national champion in up-and-coming singer Josh Parker.
Last year, COVID-19 stopped Josh and his family from traveling to Adelaide, but this year the 12-year-old competed in the 13 and under category and came away with a clean sweep of first places in Musical Theatre, Disney, Pop, Ballad and, in the last category of the day, Champion Singer.
Competing as a vocal soloist in the 10 and under division, Archie Turnbull placed first in their duo and Josh also won the “Heading to Broadway” award.
Indi Gilmore was 14 years and under Vocal Champion in 2021 and therefore could not compete for the title in 2022. She returned this year in the 16 and under age group and took home first place for 16 and Under Ballade, along with the Disney first prize and an honorable mention in Musical Theatre.
She was also runner-up in 16 and under Champion Singer.
The vocal team consisted of Josh, Indi, Rose Grills, Amy Caldwell, Kinsey Graham, Archie Turnbull, Lila Mislicki and Emily Parker. All singers placed first, second or third in one or more of their categories with Josh, Indi, Archie, Lila and Emily all taking home national champion titles.
National champions: Dillmac’s dance group was again recognized in several categories for its outstanding performances at the Follow your Dreams event.
The dance team was also successful in its efforts to take home national titles. The dance team this year was made up of Matilda Leersen, Imogen Leersen, Lulu Oman, Mikala Brown, Rose Grills, Indi Gilmore, Indra Hubble and Claudia Moon.
In many cases, the solo dancers were among up to 30 other competitors in various divisions. The competition was tough, but they brought home several honorable mentions.
The senior dance group had another successful year at Nationals in the 16 and under small group division. They were Broadway National Champions, Jazz National Champions, Lyrical National Champions, Open Genre National Champions, Contemporary National Champions, Hip Hop National Champions and Tap Runner-up National Champions
Local dancers from idance and Suzanne’s ballet school also had solo dancers compete and the powerhouse of the pulsating dance force Wangaratta took out the title of best performing group this year.
Their senior grand Troupe Broadway performance was engaging fun and well choreographed by owner and director Sam Pulvirenti.
Liz Dillon, part owner and director of Dillmac, is the vocal coach of all competition singers and Millie Dillon McKenzie choreographs all solo duos and troupes for the dance team, except for tap routines. Tap was led by Maddie Watson last year.
Back to top: After a year out of the Follow Your Dreams competition, Indi Gilmore returned to win awards in the 16 and Under category.
The two teams are already in preparation for next year’s competition with Millie coming home to choreograph over 40 new solos in 10 days to be ready for FYD Echuca Regionals in April.
This year, teams will be looking for sponsors, so they can return to nationals again.
The ongoing costs of the competition and travel have prevented many team members and tutors from attending – and like other national level dance schools, Dillmac aims to give everyone the same opportunity.
They will do fundraising and look for potential sponsors.
If you are keen to support Team Dillmac for its 2023 national effort, message Liz on Facebook page Dillmac Entertainment or email her at [email protected]