Is­abella joins the elite

Central Leader - - NEWS - By LAUREN PRIESTLEY

Is­abella Price loves danc­ing from the tip of her toes – and she’s hop­ing to do it for a life­time.

The St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege year 9 stu­dent has just been ac­cepted into the As­so­ci­ates Pro­gramme for the New Zealand School of Dance and starts next week.

She is one of a se­lect few stu­dents aged 12-16 who gained en­try this year out of more than 200 hope­fuls na­tion­wide.

The in­vi­ta­tion means she will be trained by the school’s top coaches, hang out with pro­fes­sional bal­let dancers and go to the mas­ter classes when the Royal New Zealand Bal­let is tour­ing.

It is the first step to­wards a ca­reer in bal­let, Is­abella says.

‘‘It’s a good op­por­tu­nity to dance with other peo­ple who are at the same level as me and share the same pas­sion. Loads and loads of doors open with it.

‘‘I don’t know where I’m go­ing to go in the fu­ture but I think bal­let will be there def­i­nitely.’’

She started bal­let when she was 3 at Al­le­gro Dance Academy in St He­liers.

As a tod­dler it was just a fun thing to do but now it means a lot more to the driven young­ster.

‘‘Ev­ery lit­tle girl does bal­let. I loved danc­ing so a few years ago I de­cided to re­ally com­mit to it and do it fully. It’s now more of a pas­sion than just some­thing I do for fun.’’

Is­abella trains ev­ery day in clas­si­cal bal­let and con­tem­po­rary classes.

Be­ing a dancer is harder than most peo­ple as­sume, she says.

She was play­ing touch rugby with her friends when her mother brought her the New Zealand School of Dance ac­cep­tance let­ter.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mate how hard it is.

‘‘Peo­ple ask ‘ What sports do you play?’ and when I say ‘bal­let’ they say ‘ That’s not a sport’. But it is. It’s harder than most sports.’’

Is­abella’s dance teacher, Dan­nielle Chan­dler, says her stu­dent’s ac­cep­tance into the pres­ti­gious school means big things.

The New Zealand School of Dance only in­vites elite stu­dents who have the po­ten­tial to go on to the school’s full­time ter­tiary pro­gramme and have a fu­ture ca­reer as a pro­fes­sional dancer, Miss Chan­dler says.

‘‘If she wants a ca­reer in dance, I think this step is nec­es­sary. It’s the best way for her to ex­tend her­self and it gives her the chance to get train­ing from the New Zealand School of Dance staff at a young age.’’

Go to al­le­groa­cademy. for more in­for­ma­tion.


En pointe: Is­abella Price is on her way to the New Zealand School of Dance.

Is­abella Price

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