We were greeted with huge smiles from the locals on our arrival into town. Elders stopped for a yarn, kids ran up eagerly to say hello and parents of g-oz participants spoke of their child’s excitement for the week ahead and of the awesome Brisbane travel program at the end of last year.
It was my first time in Lockhart River so I was incredibly excited about the new experience and also to have visited all three g-oz locations.
We headed into school on Tuesday morning with lots of new songs and dances to teach the kids, eager to connect with new students and strengthen friendships from previous trips. Throughout the week we worked with the very cute and impressively engaged Kuunchi Kakana group (Families Together) at the Puuya Centre, and the very energetic Prep kids all the way through to the gorgeous Year 6 girls.
We enjoyed many special, hilarious and beautiful moments with each age group, particularly in our girls-only year 3/4 and 5/6 classes. In only four days, we saw the girls embrace new skills and challenges, and often surprise themselves with their bravery and ability to learn quickly. The Year 5/6 girls focussed on a very cool new song ‘Hey Soul Sister’, the REDed routine ‘Thunder’ and a new lyrical dance to ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman. The girls really connected to the running theme of embracing strengths, recognising weaknesses (and being OK with them), and having the courage to shine your own light. I was particularly impressed with their desire to rise to the challenges we gave them – whether tricky tongue-twisters, singing a musical scale or pushing their bodies to find the strongest shapes possible in the dance routines.
I don’t think these girls know how inspiring they are and how much we learn and receive in the sessions too.
The week culminated in a very special and entertaining performance at the school’s ‘parade’ – an assembly-like event on Friday afternoon. The g-oz girls received a huge applause.
We flew out of Lockhart River directly after the performance and just like that another g-oz trip was all over – the week always flies by far too quickly! I can’t wait to visit again in October and to hear all about their progress in between.
By Shelley Moore, g-oz dance instructor, Lockhart River March 2018