Ready to sail L to R: Alex McGregor, Aleisha Knowles, Breanna Hodges, Caitlin Knowles, Jessica Galletly, Tara McKeown, Emily Bitmead, Jade Collier, Jemma Dalley, Pippa Foster.

Dancing On The High Seas


A group of Darfield’s TM Dance World (TMDW) students have just arrived home having been competing in a dance competition with a difference. What made this competition different was not the dancing but the venue! Called Hollywood Bound, the whole contest took place while sailing on the Royal Caribbean Cruise line.

In 2016, Tara McKeown, owner, and instructor at TMDW, along with selected students, attended the Australian National Dance Competitions on the Gold Coast, run by Peter Oxford. In 2017 he announced he would run the next competition on a cruise ship, which led Tara to register a small team of nine senior dancers to participate.

The team, their families and supporters, set sail on April 15th after putting in many hours of practice in preparation. They spent three days competing in a more challenging environment than ever experienced.

“The moving ship took some adjusting to,” Tara explained. “The experience was certainly different, but the girls all handled it like professionals,” a proud Tara added.

The girls performed four team dances; jazz, Broadway, lyrical and contemporary. These all took place in what was reported to be a beautiful theatre, venue for much of the cruise line’s entertainment and open to passengers who could also watch the dance competition.

“The girls came away with results we were very proud of. Scoring over ninety points in most of the dances meant we were placed in the High Gold category,” Tara said.

The results of this section were:

  • Lyrical: Yellow – High Gold Award and 3rd
  • Contemporary: Unsteady – Gold Award and 4th
  • Broadway: Burlesque – High Gold and 6th
  • Jazz: Dangerous – High Gold and 8th

The TMDW dancers also performed two dances of their choice in the Battle of the Stars final show.

“We repeated our contemporary and Broadway team’s entry, and were placed fourth for Unsteady and fifth in Burlesque,” Tara reported.

Tara and her students managed two port days in between performing and explored Noumea and Lifou Islands, which Tara commented, was thoroughly enjoyed by all. There were endless activities and entertainment for the group to get involved in while onboard also.

“Our extended team enjoyed the ice skating show, night time rock party in the promenade, and they made the most of diving lessons, mini golf, bingo, wine and beer tasting, ship tours, massages, flow-rida surfing, dancing shows and more,” Tara enthused.

“We all had an amazing experience and TMDW would like to thank everyone who came along to support our dancers,” she gratefully concluded.