Gold Coast for talented young dancer
Invercargill dancer Shelton Shaw is thrilled and prepared to represent Southland in a Gold Coast competition early next year.
The 12-year-old attended the Christchurch Dance Showcase during Labour Weekend and was chosen for the Australian National Showcase Finals at Jupiter's Casino on the Gold Coast in January.
The next stage of the Australian competition is in Las Vegas later in 2013, which Shelton has her eyes set on.
Nerves haven't set in, she says. The excitement about stepping up further in the dance world is still a buzz. Though this means there's hardly a break in her training schedule, following her recent wins in ballet, jazz, contemporary and choreography at the South Island regionals.
Her instructor, Toni Canny of Fuel Fitness, credits Shelton's work ethic as well as her talent for the young dancer's move from regional competitions to performing internationally.
In class by 6.45am every morning, Shelton says its rough some mornings - strong encouragement from her mum is a good alarm clock to get her up and going - but she knows it will pay off as long as her enthusiasm for dance continues.
She was first inspired to start taking classes when she was 3, after being given a Christmas Nutcracker Barbie Doll.
While Shelton has since excelled in a range of dance genres, the doll still embodies her love for classical dance.
She may be well schooled in round-offs and back flips be her favourite form but when asked what her favourite style is, Shelton doesn't hesitate: "It's ballet."
- The Southland Times