Dancer gets rare opportunity
Ashleigh's Aussie opportunityJONO GALUSZKA
A Palmerston North teenager has beaten competition from across the globe to take her place at a Melbourne dance school.
Ashleigh Hoera, 17, currently spends her days teaching at Macdonald School of Dance on Church St.
But at the beginning of next year, she will be off to The Space Dance and Arts Centre in Melbourne to take up an offer of study.
Ashleigh said the process of getting to the school had been a bit of a whirlwind.
She auditioned two weeks ago in Auckland in front of American dancer Adam Parson, before being called back for an interview.
Ashleigh said she was told she would get a phone call in a couple of weeks.
The next day, after driving from Auckland to Wellington, she was called by the owner of the dance school and told the good news.
‘‘She said she had some good news for me, in her little Australian accent, and I just started crying.’’
Parson had been complimentary about her technique, which she said was important for any dancer to work on.
‘‘It means they won’t have to teach me anything I should have learned when I was five.’’
Being accepted into the school was an achievement in itself – people from Europe, Australia and all across New Zealand auditioned for one of 30 places at the school.
But getting accepted was only half the challenge, as Ashleigh now has to pull together about $10,000 for fees.
Then she needs money to move across the ditch and get set up.
‘‘I can’t get [student loan money] from here because I’ll be over there, and I can’t get money there because I’m from here.’’
While she was trying to get money from arts grants, she would have to do some fundraising, including selling art donated by friends.
She would also be taking on some night work.
Ashleigh said her big influences were her teacher Amy Macdonald and Jennifer Lopez.
‘‘Amy has been teaching me my whole life. I wouldn’t be where I am without her."‘
* People wanting to help Ashleigh with her fundraising can find more information at facebook.com/HelpAshleighPlease.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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