Gippsland Academy of Dance student Emily Euman took to the national stage last weekend “freaking out” because she was up against some of the best ballet dancers in her age group in the country.
But she needn’t have worried.
The 13-year-old ballet dancer, who lives just outside of Moe, stormed home to win the Australian Teachers of Dancing Australasian Scholarship competition.
“I was so shocked when I realised I had won,” Emily said.
“I was so excited, I almost started crying.”
It was Emily’s third appearance at the dance scholarships.
She had come in at fourth place once before.
Gippsland Academy of Dance principal and owner Lisa Capp said the gold award was well deserved, as Emily spent 15 hours a week at the dance studio and her weekends rehearsing at a dance company in Melbourne.
“She always puts in 100 per cent, she is always committed and dedicated,” Ms Capp said.
“All the little ones look up to her so much – she is a good role model.”
Merely getting to the level of the Australasian Scholarships is an achievement in itself.
Firstly, Ms Capp said dancers had to achieve a certain level in their exams to qualify for the Victorian Scholarships.
If the dancer placed in the state level competition, they would then become eligible to compete at the national level.
Emily took out first prize at the Victorian Scholarships, which qualified her for the Australasian Scholarships.
Kylie Euman, Emily’s mother, said she was “super proud” of her daughter’s achievements.
“She works pretty hard and is always training and rehearsing at home,” Ms Euman said.
“She’s always got a smile on her face because she loves it so much.”
Well on her way to a career in ballet, Emily hopes to dance for the Australian Ballet one day.
“I love to express myself,” she said.
“[Ballet] makes me really happy – I just love to dance.”