Dancer takes first step for her career

LAUREN PRIESTLEY
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2014
Isabella Price
EN POINTE: Isabella Price is on her way to the New Zealand School of Dance.

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

The 13-year-old Mission Bay girl 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 to 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."

The St Cuthbert's College year 9 student 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 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.

"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. co.nz for information.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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