Students from Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School soared to new heights with their performance at the State Dance Festival on Monday night.
Students from years 7 to 11 in the school's contemporary dance ensemble performed to Dione Farris' cover of The Beatles song Blackbird at the Seymour Centre.
Theirs was among six performances to open the five-day festival, which sees more than 1500 students from NSW public schools take the stage. Contemporary ensemble dancers Jacinta Duncan, a year 11 student, and Lucy Brooks, in year 10, relished the opportunity to dance at the festival.
"It's a good atmosphere at state because the standard is higher," Miss Duncan said.
"It's great . . . to be able to do what you love doing at school."
Year 10 student Lucy Brooks said the Blackbird dance choreography made for a contemporary, angular piece.
"We incorporate lots of bird motifs into the routine, like angular bird arms," she said.
"It was fun."
Dance teacher Katrina Pattalis said it was the second year students from the school were selected to perform at the event.
"It's definitely a prestigious festival," she said.
"It's such a different atmosphere performing there because the lighting is spectacular.
"They were very professional. We're hoping in the future to get more than one piece in, so that's our next goal."
Students selected for the school's contemporary, jazz and ballet ensembles are no stranger to large events.
The contemporary ensemble recently placed first in the Ultimate Dance Challenge held at Cherrybrook Technology High School, and have danced in the Syd West Dance Festival — the regional equivalent of the State Dance Festival. They will perform at Parramatta's Riverside Theatres next term.