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.
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