VIDEO: Teen trio dance their way to international stage
THREE young Lismore dancers will head to New York as the only Australian ensemble taking part in the Youth America Grand Prix dance finals.
Abby Collins, 14, Layne Hampson, 16, and Kayla Van Den Bogert, 14, train at the Karen Ireland Dance Centre in Lismore.
As well as the contemporary ballet trio, Kayla has entered as a soloist, performing classical ballet and contemporary ballet pieces.
Principal teacher, Karen Ireland, said the girls' determination and hard work got them to this point.
"I am delighted for the girls that they will be able to showcase their talent at this international level," she said.
"It's set to be an outstanding competition and something I know will fuel the passion these girls have for dance."
Abby said she realised she wanted to be a professional ballet dancer when she was around 10 years old.
"I started when I was three ... I stopped when I was maybe seven when I did tennis," she said.
"I did that for about half a year and came back to dancing.
"I watched videos and they inspired me to become a better dancer."
Layne and Kayla started dancing when they were around three years old and have been dancing ever since.
The Youth American Grand Prix is the world's largest global network of dance.
More than 1200 of the world's most promising dancers attend the week-long event each season and receive in-depth mentoring and scholarship, professional, and performance opportunities.
The New York Finals closing night, Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow, features the students showing the most potential alongside the stars of today's leading dance companies.