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Young talent abounds

Last Saturday evening we headed off en famille to Harry Margolis Hall, there to enjoy another M&Ms Dance Factory extravaganza and support my niece Carly, one of the talented young dancers.

OutDoor with Rosie Mitchell

Mitzi and Mel Carruthers never fail to delight audiences with their creatively and professionally contrived and executed shows, which provide a platform for their dance pupils in every age group from tiny tots to adults.

It would be a rare and unmoveable person who did not leave such a show in an energised and uplifted mood. Black and White and Outta Sight was a spectacularly colourful, well-choreographed and well-rehearsed show.

A large audience packed the venue with parents and friends of performers, as well as the general public and the whole show was very well-received.

The costumes were absolutely amazing and the enthusiastic dancers of every age evidently much enjoyed themselves up on stage and put on a really great show.

Lighting and sets were superb, and the concept — the first half in black and white, the second in colour — worked really well and was very imaginative.

There was plenty of humour throughout, and some excellent special effects too — a show that was fun from beginning to end.

It’s amazing how poised even the smallest dancers are in these shows and these regular experiences on stage in the public eye from a young age can only stand them in good stead as they grow up, building self-confidence.

Amazing talent at Starbrite contest

I had been invited to be one of three judges at the Starbrite Launch Dinner at Pandhari Lodge. Following the nationwide Starbrite auditions of 10 000 young hopefuls, the cream of the crop, around 60 young people who survived the elimination process, were sent off to Boot Camp at Mazvikadei Dam, where they were trained, groomed and mentored for a week.

The launch dinner required three groups, each under the guidance of a different mentor, to write their own song and another group, also mentored, to choreograph their own dance routine, then perform these acts for the 300 people who attended the dinner.

It was a very festive evening, which began with excellent entertainment by the Class of 2012 — the winners of last year’s Starbrite contest, followed by the four acts which required scrutiny by the judges.

We were given score sheets and while a clearly best act did emerge from our judging, with which members of the audience consulted afterwards fully concurred, all four acts were very good indeed, and the audience was most impressed by the talent displayed.

There were some astonishingly good singing voices, excellent dancers and musicians, and the winning song was very catchy and well-performed.

The on-going hunt for the top performers in this year’s Starbrite talent contest is now screening on ZBC on Saturday early evening and repeats on Sunday and Wednesday.

It will be interesting to see who emerges as 2013’s up and coming stars of tomorrow.

Meanwhile, aside from reporting that we happily stood for four hours in the friendly voting queue at Courtney Selous School — a very chilly experience weather-wise — my column is not much living up to its name thus far… however; in spite of having the most frenzied amount of work to do preparing for the Zim on a Plate Awards later this month, with the all day judging session last weekend, I do manage to squeeze some Outdoors in by keeping up my running training.

This has now reverted to regular solitary trail runs (save for the company of our dogs) out in the bush, close-to-bush, and farmland that begins on the outskirts of Mandara.

This is my favourite kind of running and I’ve recently been trying out more new and enjoyable bush-whacking routes that take me through to Chishawasha, though it’s still getting dark far too early to run as long as I’d like — and still put in a day’s work! I’ve not taken part in a running event since our own Mukuvisi 21 five weeks ago.

The rather dramatic infected bite from that day on my leg has finally almost healed — thank goodness for antibiotics and a strong immune system.

We are skipping the Kariba half marathon, this year in favour of a five day hike with friends in the Chimanimani Mountains, which I anticipate with unbridled joy and excitement.

So, too, do I anticipate the third Old Mutual Vumba Mountain Run from Leopard Rock Hotel on October 26, which offers a five, 10 and 21km. Having tried out and much enjoyed the World’s View Run in Nyanga earlier this year, I’m keen to give this one a try too.

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