Ready to make a pointe

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Belinda Cipri­ano

COOLBELLUP teenager Emilee Lush­erBlake (15) is shoot­ing for the stars af­ter be­ing one of two Aus­tralian clas­si­cal bal­let stu­dents to be se­lected via video au­di­tion to com­pete at the Youth Amer­ica Grand Prix (YAGP) com­pe­ti­tion final in New York next month. The Kather­ine Man­tle Per­form­ing Arts Academy stu­dent hopes the ex­pe­ri­ence will lead her to se­cure a place at a lead­ing pre-pro­fes­sional school and an in­vi­ta­tion to at­tend the Royal Bal­let in Lon­don Spring school. Mum Jo­lene said her daugh­ter was a ded­i­cated and tal­ented young dancer who was train­ing full-time . They are look­ing for spon­sor­ship given the lack of fund­ing avail­able to those in the arts.

“The ex­penses in­volved in at­tend­ing the YAGP final in New York are a huge fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment and some­thing as a fam­ily we will strug­gle to do, es­pe­cially with such a short turn­around time be­tween ac­cep­tance and par­tic­i­pa­tion,” Mrs Lusher-Blake said.

“Un­for­tu­nately there is very lit­tle or no fund­ing avail­able to sup­port stu­dents like Emilee to help them with the enor­mous fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment as they pre­pare for one of the world’s most pres­ti­gious bal­let com­pe­ti­tions.

“Emilee is now look­ing for sup­port from the wider com­mu­nity and for them to un­der­stand the ded­i­ca­tion, sac­ri­fices and fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment re­quired for these tal­ented young dancers such as her­self to achieve ex­cel­lence in clas­si­cal bal­let and one day achieve the ul­ti­mate goal of be­com­ing a pro­fes­sional bal­let dancer in a world-renowned com­pany over­seas.”

Mrs Lusher-Blake said do­na­tions would help with travel-re­lated ex­penses, com­pe­ti­tion en­try fees, ac­com­mo­da­tion, classes, coach­ing and mul­ti­ple pairs of pointe shoes. To do­nate, visit www. go­

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