Professional ballerina – it’s the dream job of many little girls.
But it takes a rare combination of passion, dedication and exceptional talent to successful carve out a career in dance.
Weston’s Elisabeth Wenta has taken a huge step towards such a career, having been accepted into the Washington School of Ballet’s pre-professional program.
The 16-year-old will head off to the United States in September for a nine-month stint at the prestigious school, and hopes the experience will open up the opportunity to become a trainee with the company.
Elisabeth started ballet at the age of six, and has placed in the Sydney Eisteddfod every year since she was 10 – this year taking out the 17-years classical ballet, lyrical and jazz sections and the 16-years and over classical ballet championship.
She has achieved a high distinction in all of her Royal Academy of Dance exams from Primary to Advanced 2, and will complete her Solo Seal exam in August before she heads off to Washington.
Elisabeth has been a student at Premiere Elite Studios on the Central Coast for four years, where she currently dances five days a week (sometimes up to 12 hours a day).
She had previously danced at Lake Macquarie Dance Centre, where she played the lead role of Clara in The Nutcracker at age 11.
Just six years on, she will have the opportunity to be part of the Washington school’s famed Christmas production of that ballet.
While she will spend her 17th birthday and Christmas in the US, she’s incredibly excited about the opportunity.
“I’ll miss everyone, but it will be so much fun,” she said.
Elisabeth says she realised she wanted to pursue a career in dance when she started training with her current teacher, Sara Moore.
“Miss Sara”, as she is known to her dancers, said she is very proud of Elisabeth’s achievements.
“She has been a dream to teach, very self-motivated and a real go-getter,” she said.
“In this industry it’s not always easy.
“She works very hard, and has done so from a young age.
“This is the next step for her to make a career as a professional ballerina, which is her dream.”
Elisabeth said she enjoys dance because it is a good way to express herself and harness her excess energy.
“It takes me into another world,” she said.
“I could not imagine life without dancing, it’s like breathing.”