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Best time ever

Tuesday, 25th January, 2011

Shannon Swart (15) and Catherine Bransdon (14) have returned after the “trip of a lifetime” dancing, singing and acting in Los Angeles. Shannon Swart (15) and Catherine Bransdon (14) have returned after the “trip of a lifetime” dancing, singing and acting in Los Angeles.

Two locals girls who won the chance of a lifetime to perform on the world stage are home after having the best experience of their lives.

When Catherine Bransdon and Shannon Swart auditioned for a Glee Club tour to Los Angeles they didn't think they had much of a chance.

"We didn't think we would get in," Shannon said.

"Everything happened really fast and really slow at the same time," said Catherine.

The girls spent three weeks in Los Angeles learning dancing and singing which according to Catherine, was "amazing."

"It was very intense and we were both exhausted, but it was just fantastic".

Shannon also said it was great.

"I found it to be the best experience of my life ... we met such great people high up in the business, who gave us great advice to help us," she said.

The Glee Club Tour was launched by the Australian Institute for Performing Arts (AIPA). It offers singers and dancers the chance to study with some of

LA's best choreographers, composers, musical directors and vocal coaches.

"Shannon's strength is in singing and Catherine's in dance, but both can carry off a "Triple Threat" which is acting, singing and dancing," said Catherine's mother, Anne.

In September/October, the girls attended a bootcamp in Sydney in preparation for the LA trip and another in November.

It consisted of six hours a day of intensive training with some of Australia's best choreographers, casting agents and vocal coaches.

During the LA trip the girls met the vice president and casting director of Disney, a vocal contractor for the hit TV show Glee, and the choreographer of Beyonce's film clip "Single Ladies".

They had a workshop with the assistant choreography from Glee and Shannon met Darren Criss who is the newest actor in the show.

Catherine and Shannon also recorded songs for charity organisations "Youth off the Streets" and "Are you okay?". The songs were recorded in the studio where Michael Jackson recorded the album "Thriller".

They also got to perform at Hollywood Boulevard, Universal Studios, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and have American voice coaching lessons.

"They taught us about auditioning in LA ... if I go to audition in LA, I'll know what to do," Shannon said.

"Each performance was different," Catherine said.

"Disneyland was my favourite."

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