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Bendigo Classic: collaboration makes rural competition a success

The recent successful Bendigo Classic was the result of effective collaboration and co-operation within the dance industry. The three local studios worked together with DSV, ADS and The City of Greater Bendigo to hold this event and all got a mention in The Bendigo Advertiser.

The Age also picked up the story and focused on how a previously disabled jockey is regaining mobility through dancing. Her first competition was the Bendigo Classic!


Ticket prices were very affordable and it’s a wonderful opportunity to visit one of Victoria’s beautiful older cities with lots of character. There are plenty of accommodation options and in all price ranges.


The ADS (Australian Dancing Society) ran a splendid event overseen by Max Baker.

Studio feedback

Comments ranged along these themes:

Thank you to the following studios for their feedback:

Local sponsorship and great venue

Events like this do not happen without the generous support of local sponsors, in this case Bendigo Tourism and The City of Greater Bendigo. The venue, provided by The City of Greater Bendigo, was a spacious stadium that included a practice area.

With all these factors in its favour, the Bendigo Classic blitzed it with over 400 competitors, officials, and spectators through the doors on Saturday 19 August. After an absence of 10 years it was heartwarming to read the story below from The Age.


Bendigo Classic: Collaboration makes rural competition a success


Ballroom dancing helping disabled horse rider

A former jockey who was left with a disability after being thrown into a tree by a horse 17 years ago has found her rhythm again through ballroom dancing. Kerrin Shortis had to relearn how to walk after she suffered an acquired brain injury and broke her right leg when the horse she was riding during trackwork in Bendigo bolted. On the long road to recovery Ms Shortis discovered dance.

"I'm actually functionally getting my brain exercised far more than what I would be if I was on gym exercises or sitting doing a Sudoku puzzle, which is great for the brain but your body's not doing any exercise.

"It's made me concentrate on foot placement and timing and my hip movement … and I'm having fun," she said.

Kerrin Shortis said learning the routines was a challenge at first, but she soon saw an improvement in her balance and coordination. She competed at the Bendigo Dancesport Classic against competitors from across the state. Kerrin went on in September to dance at several events at the Geelong Classic Dancesport Festival. She hopes others with a disability or anyone overcoming hardship could turn to dance to get well again.

"Dancing is really helping me get back into society and live a fulfilling life," Ms Shortis said.

We are thrilled this collaboration with ADS has resulted in such a positive outcome.

Ballroom dancing helping disabled horse rider

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