Life's a song and dance for teen duo

20:30, Dec 12 2013
timaru glee
LIFE OF GLEE: Bry Rooney, 16, and Bailey Dunnage, 17, are utterly committed to running Timaru's Glee club.

It's no secret that year 12 students Bailey Dunnage and Bry Rooney love to sing and dance.

Their love and commitment to entertainment has inspired them to work tirelessly leading Timaru's one and only Glee club.

It is completely run by the high school students, and they're determined to keep it that way.

"We've had a lot of adults offer to help, but we really want to keep it the way it is. We find we can socialise with each other better this way," Bailey said.

"We can cater for their needs and we know their needs better," said Bry.

The group meet for evening practises twice a week, and the time together is taken seriously - these leaders know how to get their group to knuckle-down.


"We're definitely there to work."

However, leading a group of more than 30 of their peers does come with some challenges.

"It's sometimes a challenge to manage relationships, particularly because most of them are friends, they sometimes don't like you telling them what to do. It's like, right now I'm not your friend I'm your leader. Finding that balance is sometimes hard - and some of the group are older than us," Bailey said.

The leaders share a drive to always do better, and looking back to where they started in February last year, they say they have come a long way.

"When we started the dancing was just grapevines and kicks, now its full-on choreographed. We started off just doing melodies, but now we are doing six-part harmonies," Bry said.

Bailey takes singing lessons from Tim McLeod and Bry learns dance at BronzBeat, but apart from that, they have simply built on previous experience to get Glee to its current standard. The group have just finished filming a music video for Thriller/Heads Will Roll in a Sophia St car park.

"It had to be dark so we were filming until about 1am on both Saturday and Sunday nights. We must have run through it over 20 times," Bailey said.

They hope the video will go viral, letting others know about their group, and perhaps inspiring others in small towns to do something similar.

Bailey's ultimate dream is to get it on the Ellen show.

Bailey was planning to go to the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art, but he was named Head Boy of Mountainview, so he decided to stay at school.

Bry is switching from Roncalli College to Mountainview next year so she can take drama as a subject in her senior year, and she plans to go to Nasda in 2015.

By the time they leave town they hope to be able to leave Glee in the hands of new capable teenagers. But what they will take with them are skills for life.

"Not only have we helped other people develop their skills, but its developed us as leaders. We've learnt how do deal with a lot of different circumstances, and you don't get that experience if you don't put yourself out there," Bailey said.

Glee will present their repertoire at Mountainview High School on Saturday December 14 and Sunday December 15 at 12pm and 7pm both days. Booking available from for $15 plus booking fee, or door sales available for $18.

The Timaru Herald