ONLY a few days out from the eisteddfod, the butterflies are building for Gympie and District Eisteddfod association president Thelma Reisenleiter.

Even though she has been on the committee for 16 years, she still feels the same anticipation before the first day of competition.

“For me, the approach of the eisteddfod still brings a feeling of excitement,” Ms Reisenleiter said.

“It’s magical when the little ones come through the door.”

On Saturday morning the curtain will open at 9am at the Civic Centre.

The opening session will feature dance and it is the first time the category has been offered at the Gympie Eisteddfod.

Ms Reisenleiter said it was an exciting prospect for the future of the competition.

“It means we have all of the art forms present… dance will inject even more enthusiasm into the eisteddfod,” she said.

Former Gympie ballet dancer Tracey Heilbronn will be adjudicating the dance session of which there will be three categories – jazz, classical ballet and tap dance.

Ms Heilbronn said it will be an honour to judge.

“It will be interesting to get back (to Gympie) and see what talent there is,” she said.

Entries for speech and drama and instrumental sections have grown from last year and Ms Reisenleiter said the piano and instrumental championships on Wednesday evening will be an impressive highlight.

Richard Morphew will adjudicate this category, Daniel Calder will adjudicate vocal sessions and Trena-Jane Reisenleiter-Rowlands will adjudicate speech and drama.

Ms Reisenleiter said the eisteddfod could provide a platform for a successful career and she encouraged everyone in the community to watch the young Gympie performers.

“We can be proud of our youth… there is so much talent and it is a shame if people don’t avail themselves of the opportunity to see and hear,” Ms Reisenleiter.

Programs can be bought at Musicland in Mary St before the eisteddfod comes to a close Friday evening, August 1.