Tahlia Downing attending the Young Dancers CQ Tanyalla Dance Camp on January 14, 2013.
Tahlia Downing attending the Young Dancers CQ Tanyalla Dance Camp on January 14, 2013. Christopher Chan GLA140113DNCE

Tahlia aims high after attending ballet summer intensive

STARTING later than most dancers hasn't hindered Tahlia Downey's foray into ballet.

The 14-year-old recently returned from the Australian Ballet Company's Summer School and Vocational Intensive Program.

Tahlia, who dances locally with Wendy Barker's Dance Studio and the Young Dancers Company of CQ, is working towards her advanced two ballet exam for the Royal Academy of Dance this year.

"She is quite young to have achieved this level and we are very proud of her ongoing achievements," Wendy Barker said.

Tahlia was inspired to take up dancing at age nine after watching her older cousin dance.

She currently does contemporary, jazz and ballet, with the latter her favourite style.

"It's because of the way you can express yourself," Tahlia said of ballet.

The amount of time Tahlia trains per week varies but it is usually six days a week and about 28 hours.

"A lot of dancers find that they can't manage their time with school work and social lives," she said.

For Tahlia dance is her top priority and her hard work pays off. She was one of only 20 dancers at the intensive.

Tahlia attended the Summer Camp the year before and said working with professionals renewed her love of dancing.

"I learnt what it will be like in the professional world and being away from home," she said.

Living away from home may not be far away for the current Toolooa SHS student.

"I know that this is likely to be my last year in Gladstone," Tahlia said.

"I hope to do my senior schooling down in Melbourne with the Australian Ballet Company...I would love to be in a company in Russia."



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