Tag Archives: Australian Ballet School

Ballerina over the moon with selection | Illawarra Mercury

Dapto’s Charlee Corrie is headed for New York City


Jan. 6, 2015, 4:43 p.m.

Charlee Corrie is a finalist in the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Charlee Corrie is a finalist in the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

The world is a stage for Dapto ballet dancer Charlee Corrie who has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition.

The nine-year-old is among a shortlist of international finalists who will compete in the annual event, which is held in April over six days at multiple venues around New York City.

The Youth America Grand Prix is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition and is regarded by many as a stepping stone to a professional dance career for young people aged nine to 19.

Charlee will dance in workshops and in staged performances with other finalists, under the watchful eyes of judges and scouts from the world’s best ballet schools.

To be selected for the New York finals, Charlee submitted a DVD of her performance of the doll variation from the classical ballet Coppelia and a contemporary piece titled The Ballet Dancer.

Charlee is trained by her mother Vanessa Corrie, principal of the Vanessa Lee Dance Academy at Dapto, and dance teacher Chantelle Watts.

Ms Corrie choreographed the contemporary piece; and Ms Corrie and Ms Watts instructed Charlee as she learnt the classical variation.

The DVD audition took place in November and the Corries were notified of Charlee’s success by email on December 21.

‘‘I was shocked and over the moon with the news,’’ said Ms Corrie, who will accompany her daughter to New York.

Charlee’s father Brad Corrie and her younger sister Ruby, 6, will also make the journey to cheer on the budding ballerina.

‘‘We are all going over to support Charlee in this fantastic opportunity,’’ Ms Corrie said.

‘‘It will broaden her experience to participate in classes with kids from around the world and the performance experience will be amazing.

‘‘She will be dancing with the cream of the crop.’’

Charlee will compete in the 9-11 years age division of the competition which culminates in a gala night performance at the Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theatre.

Ms Corrie said she noticed her daughter’s strong dance potential around the age of seven.

‘‘She has the physical facilities – good flexibility and turnout – and she is also clever at picking up choreography and retaining it,’’ Ms Corrie said.

‘‘She is also very responsive in class and picks up the corrections easily.’’

Charlee successfully auditioned for a position in the Australian Ballet School’s Interstate Training Program in 2014. She will start attending workshops and personal visits with the esteemed Melbourne-based school this year.

Meanwhile, before Charlee starts polishing her New York routines, she is rehearsing this week with other Vanessa Lee Dance Academy students in the lead-up to the Showcase National Dance Championships, to be held at Jupiter’s Casino on the Gold Coast from January 12 to 19.

The dance school is competing in 20 troupe dances at the event which attracts competitors from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

Charlee will perform in 16 routines during the week.

via Ballerina over the moon with selection | Illawarra Mercury.


Another Late Starter Recognized for Hard Work Ethic and Unpretentiousness!

Late starter leaps into elite ballet school

dayna booth


A 15-year-old ballet dancer is the latest success story to come out of a small coastal dance school. Dayna Booth is ready to take on the next level of the art and will move to her new “second home” 2,000 kilometres away – the Australian Ballet School.

Dayna and her mum shed tears of joy when they received news the teenager had been accepted into the prestigious school.

She had dreamt of studying at the Australian Ballet School and had only recently asked the powers-that-be if they had room for someone of her talent and dedication.

The final word came in the mail a few weeks ago.

“My mum got [the letter] and half opened it because she was just so excited, but then realised it was for me,” Dayna said.

“I only read the first sentence and that was enough to know.

“My mum and I were crying.”

Dayna will move from Peregian Springs on the Sunshine Coast to Melbourne in 2015 and study in the school’s level five full-time ballet program.

The Australian Ballet School is Australia’s national centre for elite vocational dance training.

It is recognised internationally with over 90 per cent of its graduates gaining professional contracts at home and abroad.

Dayna is one of 700 dancers who applied for entry this year and will share her class with only 17 other successful level five students.

No short cuts

She says she is working hard in preparation.

“Right now I am doing 30 hours-a-week,” she said.

“I’ve mainly done 24 hours [but] it’s just in the last couple of months I’ve been doing 30 because I need to prepare myself for the big school.”

Dayna says her spins in particular are getting better with the increased training.

“There are these things called a fouette- it’s where you do multiple spins while flinging your leg around,” she said.

“I used to be able to do a single one but now I can do a single, a single and a double.

“I do get quite dizzy.”

Dayna says while her feet suffer from the hours of training they are getting stronger.

“I’ve got lots of blisters and right now I have half a bruised toe and half of [the nail] is coming off – it’s all part of the glory,” she said.

Masterful mentors

Dayna says her Peregian Springs teachers, Deborah Preece-Brocksom and Richard Leader, who were long time professional dancers in Europe, have been invaluable in her success.

“I can’t thank them enough, they’ve done so much for me,” she said.

“There’s been no other influence apart from YouTube.

“Mr Leader’s great at artistry and Ms Deborah is the master of technique [and she] is always kind and nurturing.”

Ms Preece-Brocksom says Dayna, who started ballet at the relatively late age of 10, has qualities beyond her physical skills.

“She’s very unpretentious,” she said.

“She’s got the hard work ethic.

“That’s what you look for in a child and if you find that, the level of talent is almost inconsequential.”

Ms Preece-Brocksom says the Australian Ballet School will be more competitive than what Dayna is used to, but her work ethic will see her succeed.

“[Ballet is] her hobby, her life, it’s her best friend,” she said.

“I think she will enjoy the challenge and they will enjoy having her down there.”

Late starter leaps into elite ballet school – ABC Sunshine & Cooloola Coasts Qld – Australian Broadcasting Corporation.