GOING PLACES: Allycia Stapes will be mentored in Sydney by some of Australia’s finest performing artists.
GOING PLACES: Allycia Stapes will be mentored in Sydney by some of Australia’s finest performing artists. Contributed

Scholarship offers year of doing what she loves

A TOUGH card dealt before she was born has not stopped 20-year-old Allycia Staples fulfilling her dream.

Born with a rare deletion on the 18th chromosome, she faced a tough life as a consequence of several physical and intellectual challenges.

Despite the setbacks, Allycia has continued to grow and thrive through her involvement in dance and the performing arts, joining the all abilities Sunshine Troupe Inc and engaging in significant productions under the guidance of creative director Florence Teillet.

That growth has since been given a significant boost by her acceptance into a 12-month artist-in-residence scholarship with the Accessible Arts Australia's Catalyst Program in Sydney.

There she will be mentored by some of Australia's finest performing artists, who will help map out her career.

During the first-week introductory stint to her residency, Allycia has been accompanied by a support person, Cathy Freeman, a performing and creative arts team member of Nambour-based disability service Spiral.

The week culminated yesterday with a progress performance.

"I am just delighted to be accompanying Allycia and sharing this experience with her," Cathy said.

Allycia is excited about the prospect of spending 12 months doing what she loves most.

"I just love being on the stage and have loved dancing since I was little,'' she said.

Travel will not be a new experience for her. In 2012 she joined Ms Teillet as ambassadors for the Sunshine Coast's Sister Cities program for a visit to Mont Dore, New Caledonia, where they ran workshops for people with disabilities.

Allycia's passion for dance began with her involvement with Fitness and Dance (FAD) in Brisbane when she was eight years old.

She and her mother moved to the Sunshine Coast seven years ago and Allycia joined Leanne Cooper's FAD Studio in Caloundra.

Her passion was also supported by Maleny High School teacher, Cath Grey, who ensured that Allycia could complete dance as a Year 12 subject through a modified curriculum.

Following this week's experience Allycia will have bi-monthly Skype sessions with a mentor before returning to Sydney in 2016 to complete the residency and perform her final piece.



Shock decision to withdraw sand mine application

Shock decision to withdraw sand mine application

The controversial expansion will not go ahead at this stage

'Amazing' fighter plane will be big drawcard at Lismore expo

'Amazing' fighter plane will be big drawcard at Lismore expo

The RAAF Hawk's top speed is 1200km/h

60,000 more meals for people in need

premium_icon 60,000 more meals for people in need

Government commits $630,000 to cut transport costs

Local Partners