A North Queensland community battered by tropical cyclone Debbie only two months ago has found cohesion in the most unexpected of places: tap dance.
On World Tap Dance Day, May 25, Mackay set the (as yet unofficial) Guinness world record for the largest tap dance lesson in a single venue.
With stewards recording participants to meticulous standards, and Guinness filming the event for verification, 274 tappers took part in the lesson, beating the previous record of 250.
The idea started when a dance troupe touring from Melbourne realised it would ring in Tap Dance Day in a region that probably could use a pick-me-up.
Producer of A Fine Romance Margaret Fisk said the idea started as a tap dance workshop for seniors and evolved into a world record attempt.
"Literally, it was on a whim," she said.
"It was like, seriously we're in Mackay, let's bring the community together, they've had lots of issues with the cyclone passing through, we just wanted to bring the community together to have some fun and this was a good way of doing it.
"I thought, wouldn't it be cool if we broke a Guinness World Record.
"It was one of those silly ideas that you think of late at night while you're drinking your coffee.
"Then I looked it all up looked at all the stuff, sent off an application … and they responded, and our application's in."
Three days before the attempt was to take place, the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre venue had only 70 participants registered out of the 251 needed.
"This morning I woke up and I was really, really nervous and we were driving down from Proserpine to Mackay and I'm thinking 'Oh, we're not going to make it, we're not going to make it'," Ms Fisk said.
"I got here and there's all these people out in the foyer.
"At one stage we were four short, and so we're running around trying to find people who would come in and participate and learn how to tap and we actually got more than four, so we've well and truly made over the 250."
The next step is to send off the official count documentation to Guinness for verification, which will take several weeks.
If verified, the city of Mackay will be sent a certificate confirming it holds the world record for the most number of people in a single venue for a tap dancing lesson.
Neil McIntyre was one of the tappers who contributed to the world record attempt.
He said, as a musician, he loved the percussive element of tap dancing.
"I haven't been consistent, put it that way, but I love tap dancing," he said.
"When I can find a class I go to it, but there's not that many adult classes around, it's mostly for young people. I'm fairly young, but the point is they don't cater for my age.
"I love the percussion and the rhythm."
Dancers Sage Douglas and Joe Meldrum instructed the class, the largest dance lesson of any kind either of them had ever taught.
"My ballet classes that I teach back in Melbourne are pretty popular, but they never do reach over 250, so it's pretty exciting," Mr Meldrum said.
Ms Douglas, who has been tapping since she was four, said it was "fantastic" to see all ages introduced to tap dancing.
"Looking around there were so many different levels of experience and age levels as well; we saw grandmas and grandpas and tiny tots," she said.
"But everyone gave it a red hot go."ABC