Local ballerina is dancing on a dream

IT IS every little girl's dream to be a prima ballerina.

For Lismore-born Sharni Spencer, that dream has come true.

Ms Spencer will soon appear on stage in The Australian Ballet's blockbuster production La Bayadere at the Sydney Opera House opening on November 6.

A coryphee dancer (ranking above a member of the corps de ballet and performing in small ensembles), she will play several different roles in the show.

James Braund

Among them will be the notoriously difficult Kingdom of the Shades scene, which demands absolute precision from the 24 dancers on stage.

"It is pure classical ballet. Every dancer wants to do it," said Ms Spencer, who was offered a place in The Australian Ballet in 2008.

"The scene takes a lot of concentration. You need to make sure you are in tune with everyone else."

Ms Spencer, who currently lives in Melbourne, recently toured with the company to the west coast of the US, performing in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

She has also undertaken an exchange with the Amsterdam National Ballet.

"The good thing about performing in Sydney is that mum and dad can come to see all my shows," she said.

A typical day begins at 9.30am with a ballet warm-up and doesn't end until practice is over at 6.30pm.

Dancers are given access to a team of physiotherapists, as well as massage therapists and a pilates teacher, said Ms Spencer.

"I would like to continue dancing as long as my body allows me to.

"I have been very lucky so far in that I haven't been seriously injured."

Ms Spencer began dance classes at three years old and studied at Sally Kefts School of Dance in Tamworth and Marie Walton Mahon Dance Academy in Newcastle before joining the New Zealand School of Dance.

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