Dancing through the pain worth it for Lauren
When she tripped over playing a game the day before her ballet exam and badly sprained her toe, Lauren Mitchell thought she was done for.
‘‘My little toe [on her right foot] went all black and blue. I really thought I’d broken it,’’ she said.
‘‘I was limping around all night and the morning of the exam.
‘‘It was really painful getting up on my toes, but I just had to do it.’’
The 13-year-old intermediate ballet dancer from Pauatahanui did much better in front of the British judge than she ever expected, achieving a 90 per cent mark and a special nationwide examiner’s choice award.
‘‘It was really nerve-racking. Sometimes the examiners never smile, but she did and that made me feel better. I was glad to get through it.’’
For Lauren’s teacher Bronwen Taylor, it was a proud moment to see one of her students achieve such a notable award.
‘‘The examiner chooses one dancer, from intermediate through to the advanced levels, to receive it,’’ Taylor said. ‘‘Lauren is dedicated and puts in the work and it’s just a fantastic result for her.’’
Taylor said the intermediate level of ballet could take 18 months to two years to complete, but Lauren managed it in 12 months. At the highpoint of her training, Lauren was putting in three hours a week of ballet.
The exam, held late last year, was a rigorous 90 minutes for Lauren and her classmates. They had to go through some set routines and others initiated by the examiner.
She needed 65 per cent to pass and easily achieved that. She said she hoped to sit her senior and advanced levels eventually, and was looking forward to the dance academy’s production of Alice in Wonderland at Southward’s Car Museum in May.
Lauren has attended ballet classes since she was 4 and said the smaller classes at Springhill were enjoyable.
She said dancing had been great for giving her core strength and flexibility for other sports and activities, like horseriding and netball.
Fellow Springhill students Jessica Brittain (88 per cent) and Jake Sandon (86 per cent) also fared well in the intermediate exams.
Lauren Mitchell received a national award following her recent ballet exam.