Fast-track to ballerina’s dream
From the Sunshine Coast to Melbourne to London
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.”
ON POINT: Madeleine Powell is off to London to participate in the Royal Ballet Summer Camp