If you ask most teenagers or adults what their career goal is, you’d likely be met with blank stares.
But 11-year-old Ainslea Esplana already knows where she wants to be in ten years and is working hard everyday to ensure her dream becomes a reality.
The pre-teen is one of Projection Dance’s full-time students, who forgoes traditional schooling to dance 30 hours a week in the hopes of one day joining an international ballet company.
“I just want to be a good dancer and I wanted to start at a young age,” she said.
This year is Ainslea’s second attending dance school full-time, having moved away from traditional schooling when she was 10.
“We have to make time to do school work after and at home and that’s kind of hard but it’s good because you can do it at your own pace,” she said.
The 11-year-old, who wants to one day join the Australian Ballet Company, is the youngest full-time dancer at Projection but said being around the older girls allows her to learn from them.
Fellow dancer Meg Newton, 14, started full-time at Projection when she was 12.
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Meg started dancing when she was three and began taking it seriously when she was 10.
“I dance from 9am to 4pm and then I’ll start school at 5.30 or 6pm and go through until bedtime pretty much,” the Eskdale teenager said.
“When I started dancing more seriously I knew I wanted to become a professional dancer and I thought I have to go full-time to achieve what I want.
“I love performing and the hard work, it’s really challenging and it keeps you fit and healthy and it’s good for life skill sit sets you up to be dedicated and hard working.”
Meg has already landed a number of international scholarships to Monaco, Germany and London.
“It was really exciting, it made me feel like all this hard work is paying off, when you’re dancing full-time you do have those days where it’s just like ‘why’, but it makes you remember why you’re here,” she said.
Projection Dance director Tim Podesta said international competitions and scholarships were vital exposure for the girls.
On Sunday the girls took to the floor for a 10am to 3pm dance-a-thon to raise money to help fund a team trip to New Zealand to compete.
Mr Podesta said people could support the girls by contacting email@example.com.
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