Side Stage

Last minute alterations and emergency repairs are all part of the excitement of staging a dance show. Find out why SUE TAYLOR loves coming to the rescue at DEC each year.

She waits in the wings at Baycourt and quietly attends all the last minute studio rehearsals, ready to jump into action when needed.

Sue Taylor’s impressive sewing skills are always in demand and she’s been helping overcome last minute challenges at DEC shows for more than two decades.

“I help with those costumes that need fixing in five minutes before they go on stage or have come apart while dancing. It is amazing how a toggle gun and duct tape can hold costumes and shoes together for a dance before we can fix them properly,” she says.

Sue’s daughter, Courtney, was just 4 years-old when she first joined DEC – she’s now 27 and dancing professionally with the Victorian State Ballet Company in Australia. “I started sewing my daughter’s own costumes, spending every spare moment after work in the costume room, sewing, altering and making headgear. I thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet after a hard day’s work. I also produced the programmes and tickets for smaller shows, adverts for papers, and programmes and certificates for BBO awards.”

She volunteers to sew costumes each year because she loves being involved in the magic of stage work. “Not many people experience behind the scenes of theatre work. It is like being in another world. I enjoy helping Prue with costuming as this is my artistic outlet where I relax and enter another world, helping to make all the amazing costumes needed for shows.”

Sue has great admiration for Prue and says it’s been an absolute pleasure to be involved in some outstanding ballet productions over the years including Carmen, Coppelia, Don Quixote, as well as Faerie shows and the end-of-year shows. She particularly enjoys witnessing the enthusiasm of DEC dancers who do their very best to bring the magic alive on stage.

“Prue, Stu and Debbie Gooch have inspired many dancers over the years to take that next hard step out into the dance world. It is the opportunities given through shows and ballets that help support these young dancers to take that next step. The only way we can carry on with these experiences for the children is to have people volunteer and support the shows.”

Despite being a fulltime teacher and team leader at Arataki Primary School, Sue is always happy to make time to help the dance school. She says there are many little jobs that need doing as the show draws near, and she encourages other families to join in and experience the joy of theatre.

“Personally I have learnt so much from being involved. People ask me why I do it – to inspire our children to take on new challenges that will be part of their life journey whether they are dancers, lawyers or shop assistants. Dancing and being involved with shows like this is all about dedication, motivation, self-worth, inspiration and creative role models.”

This year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk will be staged at Baycourt on Friday December 13th and Saturday 14th. To purchase tickets, visit the DEC shop or Baycourt’s ticket office.