Claire makes pointe despite past pain
BALLET dancer Claire Kaines is about to embark on the opportunity of a lifetime, but it was a dream that almost never was after an accident three years ago.
The 19-year-old wasn’t even two when she started dancing at the Valerie Heston School of Dance in Bibra Lake, but a lifetime of dancing and training almost came unstuck when she crushed a bone in her foot while in class.
“I continued to dance for about an hour after as we are so used to being in pain when we dance, I didn’t realise I had done so much damage,” she said.
“I was told by the surgeon he could hopefully get me back to dancing again, but probably not on pointe as he needed to insert screws and a bone graft into my foot.
“I was determined to continue dancing and although the rehabilitation was long and hard it was definitely worth it to get me back doing what I love.
“It was nearly two years before I could do my first pointe class and from then I never looked back.”
Now fully recovered, Kaines will take her talents on to the big stage after becoming the first WA dancer to be accepted to the Joffrey Ballet School trainee program in New York.
“I am the first person from WA to be accepted; they don’t accept many people from worldwide auditions each year,” she said.
The four-year course, which includes classes on classical technique, pointe, anatomy, nutrition and ballet repertoire, could culminate in Kaines earning a coveted place in a ballet company.
“I hope to gain the knowledge and ability to work in a classical ballet company and I will be auditioning for companies all over the world during my time at Joffrey,” she said. “I don’t mind where. “I would love to travel and experience the world.”