Fast-track to bal­le­rina’s dream

From the Sun­shine Coast to Melbourne to Lon­don

Maroochy Weekly - - LIFE - An­nie Caughey An­nie.Caughey@sc­news.com.au

DO YOU re­mem­ber be­ing a child and en­vi­sion­ing all the things you wanted to be when you grew up?

Maybe it was a fire-fighter, a doc­tor, an ath­lete or even a teacher. But could you ever imag­ine almost reach­ing that goal at just 12 years old?

Well, one Caloun­dra bal­le­rina is so close to her dream, she can taste it.

Madeleine Pow­ell is a Year 7 stu­dent at Caloun­dra State High School and whilst she has only just started high school she has the ma­tu­rity and mo­ti­va­tion to take on the world and that is ex­actly what she’s do­ing.

Ear­lier this year she was ac­cepted into the Queens­land Bal­let As­so­ciate Pro­gram.

Aside from get­ting ac­cepted into the pres­ti­gious dance school, within the last 12 months the teenager has also been a fi­nal­ist in the Aus­tralian Face of Capezio, com­peted at the Aus­tralian Bal­let Schol­ar­ship Awards and more re­cently was ac­cepted into the Bri­tish Royal Bal­let Sum­mer Camp.

How­ever, suc­cess comes at a hefty price: Ev­ery­day Madeleine will pack-up the school books at 3pm, jump straight into the car and her mother Ch­eryl Pow­ell drives her to Bris­bane to com­mence a fur­ther five hours of dance train­ing.

Not yet train­ing full-time, the young­ster still man­ages to rack up a min­i­mum of 26 hours of train­ing per week.

How­ever, the teenager doesn’t seem to be phased or dis­heart­ened by the in­cred­i­bly in­tense work-load.

“It’s hard to man­age school and train­ing, but I’ll do my work in the car and in my breaks, I’ll be do­ing school work,” she said.

“Like to­day I’ll be do­ing two as­sign­ments on the plane to Melbourne.”

It is this strong work ethic and ded­i­ca­tion that opened the door of the Royal Bal­let Com­pany in Lon­don for the young woman. In July she will head to the cap­i­tal to participate in a week-long men­tor­ing pro­gram.

She will dance along­side per­form­ers from all cor­ners of the globe un­der the guid­ance of some of the world’s most renowned teach­ers. Madeleine’s nat­u­ral ta­lent has seen her tech­nique im­prove at an ac­cel­er­ated rate. Com­pet­ing along-side dancers with many years of ex­pe­ri­ence more than her, who train full-time, she still man­ages to hold her ground.

“Most of those girls have been danc­ing since they were three or four, Madeleine started when she was 10,” her mother said.

“Maddy has def­i­nitely caught up to them, if not over­taken some.”

Driven by a dream to one day dance in a pro­fes­sional com­pany like the Royal Bal­let or Aus­tralian Bal­let, the 12-year-old is so enthusiastic about her goals it be­comes infectious to those around her.

“When I dance I just feel so open and free and ev­ery move just has a dif­fer­ent mean­ing,” she said.

“Bal­let is so pre­cise it’s very par­tic­u­lar and I love that be­cause I’m a per­fec­tion­ist.”

“As a fam­ily, we de­cided to sup­port her in her jour­ney and we are go­ing to do what­ever we can to help her reach her goal,” her mother said.

“It would be dif­fer­ent if we had to drag her out of bed, the mo­ti­va­tion is there and so strong and you can’t not sup­port it.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

ON POINT: Madeleine Pow­ell is off to Lon­don to participate in the Royal Bal­let Sum­mer Camp

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