MAKING a living in the arts industry is a tough slog, but these high school graduates are pirouetting into the dance world regardless.
The state's best in HSC dance will be showcased this week as part of the Seymour Centre's production Callback 2012, presented by the NSW Department of Education and Communities Arts Unit in conjunction with the Board of Studies.
Hannah Gwatkin, 18, from Pymble Ladies' College, was inspired by her grandmother's leg amputation in 2012, choreographing her dance piece, Amputation, around the process of cutting and healing limbs.
Year 10 student Michele Boulos performs the piece.
"It was really stressful at the start,'' Ms Gwatkin said. ''I spent the whole year tweaking the dance. I was surprised it got into Callback, but it was nice to see my hard work pay off.''
Chloe Carrett, 17, from Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts, performs Mikaela Sunley's Entrapment.
Callback had 400 candidates and 32 of them made the show.
These young dancers have their sights set on other states and countries to further their credentials.
Previous Callback performers have attended academies such as the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
Mitch Christie, 18, from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, has accepted a part-scholarship at New York's Purchase College, starting in August.
The taste of the hard work involved in a dancing career has not deterred Michele and Chloe from their goals - the younger performers are still set on pursuing dancing and and might have a crack at Callback themselves when they sit the HSC.
2012 CallBack is on at the Seymour Centre on Thursday and Friday.
Correction: The original version of this story said Sydney lacks a degree qualification in performance dance. In fact the Wesley Institute in Sydney has offered performance-based dance qualifications for the past 30 years, including a performance-based bachelor of dance since 1997.