Ballet dancing to stardom
THREE young dancers from Lismore have been accepted into two of the best ballet schools in the southern hemisphere.
Rhiannan Beardow, 16, has been accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance, the country's top dance conservatory.
Bridget Mullholland, 15, has been accepted into Australian Ballet School in Melbourne and Kaitlyn McNall, 13, has secured a position in the school's junior program for interstate students.
The girls all train at the Karen Ireland Dance Centre in Lismore.
Ms Ireland said it's unusual for three dancers from a regional area to achieve such success.
"It's remarkable because we know a lot of girls in other areas go to ballet school full time in preparation for trying out. Our girls haven't done that.
"They've just worked hard on their technique in evening classes and made it through," Ms Ireland said.
It's daunting for parents to know their teenage daughter is choosing the strict lifestyle and diet of a ballet dancer and Lyn McNall admitted she was "stunned" that her daughter had been accepted into the junior program.
"It will be a big change because we're country people and we'll now be travelling to Melbourne on a regular basis.
"But Kaitlyn's love of dancing has grown so much and we just want her to follow her dreams," she said.
Graduates from both schools are known for securing positions in the top dance companies in the world.
Ms Beardow said it was both exciting and daunting to know she would be training in ballet full time.
"It would be pretty emotionally and physically demanding but it's what I want to do, so it's exciting," she said.