Dedication and determination has led to four ballet students travelling outside the region and representing the emerging talent within Wanaka’s ballet community.
Six days a week teenagers Isabel Martin, Hunter Cranfield, Mia Cohen and Priya White spend hours after school, perfecting their pirouette at the Pointe Central ballet studio.
For Isabel and Priya, the passion for ballet started at a young age when they were in ‘‘baby ballet classes’’.
Isabel travels to Wellington twice a term to train with the New Zealand School of Dance, as a part of the National Scholars programme.
“I think some people think it’s really easy and that ballet’s just something people do. It’s actually really hard, and takes dedication to do well at it,” she said.
Priya also travels outside the region for further training.
“I’m part of the national coaching programme at the Anneliese Gilberd Academy in Christchurch, and have two Sundays a term for training,” Priya said.
While she has always loved ballet, it was in recent years where her passion for it was strengthened.
“I’ve only just gotten into it really in the past few years, I knew I wanted to do it further than just a few classes every week,” she said.
For Hunter and Mia, the same passion began when they moved to Wanaka at 8.
Mia was inspired after watching one of the mid-year ballet shows.
“I kept on joining more classes and I grew an appreciation for ballet because I like how it’s so technical . . . it’s very precise,” she said.
She travels to Christchurch twice a term for affiliates at Canterbury Ballet.
Hunter started ballet three years ago, after a background in jazz, contemporary and hip-hop.
“I started doing ballet because I wanted to have better technique,” he said.
He said he noticed the style difference between each.
Hunter currently travels four times a year for competitions in Auckland and Wellington.