Launceston Competitions' Di-hard fans happy backstage

Launceston Competitions co-stage managers Di Summers, front, and Di Lockhart have been looking after nervous performers behind-the-scenes for three generations of performers. Picture: Tess Brunton

Launceston Competitions co-stage managers Di Summers, front, and Di Lockhart have been looking after nervous performers behind-the-scenes for three generations of performers. Picture: Tess Brunton

For three generations of performers, two familiar faces have been keeping Launceston Competitions running smoothly.

Co-stage managers Di Summers and Di Lockhart started on the stage when they were teenagers before transitioning to behind-the-scenes.

Mrs Summers said they had been involved in the competition for “a lifetime”

“We’re seeing our third generation on stage,” she said.

Initially they were drawn to the competitions by a love of dance, but discovered moving backstage could be just as rewarding.

“It’s really lovely we can see kids coming through the competitions and watch them develop year after year,” she said.

Getting a glimpse of backstage with Di Summers and Di Lockhart. Picture: Tess Brunton

Getting a glimpse of backstage with Di Summers and Di Lockhart. Picture: Tess Brunton

The standard of the competitions had advanced with the years.

Costumes, music and dance styles had evolved until some of the performances were of a professional standard, Mrs Summers said.

“It gets in your blood.”

While there were stand out performances, they did not want to point them out.

“We’re here for everybody.”

Mrs Lockhart said they would often be standing backstage when they would say ‘remember when...’ and the performances would flood back into their minds no matter how long ago they were performed.

Not many people realised how much behind-the-scenes work was done to get the Launceston Competitions up and running, she said.

About 100 volunteers were involved in the competitions which took up about nine months of organising and work to run, she said.

But they continued to come back each year for a love of dance and children, Mrs Lockhart said.

Former performers would still come up to them on the street to say hello.

“Many still call us Aunty Di and Nanny Di.”

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