ABOVE: Lily Folpp, 16, of Goonellabah, has been accepted into two prestigious dance schools.
ABOVE: Lily Folpp, 16, of Goonellabah, has been accepted into two prestigious dance schools. Marc Stapelberg

Young ballerina’s dedication leads to two top offers

WITH 13 years of her 16-year life so far dedicated to ballet, Lily Folpp of Goonellabah has been offered a place in not one but two prestigious dance schools.

The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in Melbourne saw more than 450 Year 11 applicants, and only three students selected for the 2016 offers.

Lily, who turns 16 next month, knew she wanted to become a ballerina when she was just three years old.

"My mum took me to Miss Karen's (Karen Ireland Dance Centre) when I was three years old and I've been dancing since then ... I just love ballet," Lily said.

It's not unusual to see a young child aspire to do ballet, but her mum never imagined that aspiration would continue to a career level.

"She used to run around and dance to music ... saying all the time 'I'm going to become a ballerina'," Frances Folpp said. "She used to wear little ribbons around her ankles so she looked like she had ballet shoes on."

Ms Folpp recalled when Lily was eight years old a ballet teacher showed her a list of famous people who had trained to become elite ballerinas but changed their career paths. Lily said at the time "I don't care what you say, I'm going to become a ballerina".

Lily spent 26 to 28 hours a week practising with Karen Ireland, and is currently preparing for her last concert with the Lismore dance school in two weeks time.

Ms Ireland said the centre wouldn't be the same without the young dedicated dancer.

Of the two schools she was accepted into, in Queensland and Victoria, Lily said she would accept the Mebourne school's offer because she would get a full scholarship.

Her family have been preparing Lily with the necessary life skills for an interstate move for the whole year.



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