Top dancer ready to take on world
Blenheim woman Kelly Webster was judged senior grand champion dancer of the world in Los Angeles this month.
Miss Webster returned to Blenheim last week after being part of a multi-skilled New Zealand team which took to the stage at the 16th World Championships of Performing Arts on July 13. Dancers, vocalists, instrumentalists and actors all competed in this Olympics of performing arts, she said.
As well as claiming the championship title, the 30-year-old brought home medals of every colour, an award for the person with the most potential to make a living in the industry, a division award and a scholarship to study for a year at the Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles.
Agents watching the final said they could find her jobs including dancing with Cirque de Soleil, said Miss Webster, who teaches and choreographs at the Marlborough School of Dance in Blenheim. Other work in the US could include performing in music videos, at corporate events, in television advertisements, and in short and long-run shows.
"I'm going, I don't care what it takes," she said. "A door has opened and I believe it is time to step through."
Taking up the scholarship meant raising money to cover applying for a work visa and living expenses while studying. However, promises of work provided the confidence to make her dream of an international dance career a reality.
The lyrical section Miss Webster excelled in at the competition was her favourite.
"It's like telling a story through dance," she said.
When choreographing her winning entry, Perfect, Miss Webster drew on life experience to communicate the pain and confusion that overwhelms when a romance goes wrong.
"It is about trying to be perfect to make it work and the turmoil that involves."
Usually a reserved person, she had chosen dance as her way of communicating, Miss Webster said.
This was the second time she had danced at the world championships where last year she won medals, a division award and was offered but did not take up a six-month scholarship.
Family and friends were able to watch the championship final via a live webcast and it can still be seen at wcopa.com
The Marlborough Express