Ready to dance
ALSTONVILLE teenager George Weir is really dancing for joy, but he can expect some pain now as well.
The 17-year-old ballet dancer from Sue Whiteman's Alstonville Dance Studio leaves Ballina today to go to the Australian Choreographic Centre in Canberra to spend a month working in a professional dance environment as part of the centre's Quantum Leap project.
But his teacher, Sue Whiteman, last week warned George that he would be sore ? the dancers will be working seven days per week, and dance for about 8-12 hours per day in the lead-up to their final performance.
George said he was up to the challenge, though.
He currently dances about five hours every day, and has also put in some extra fitness training, including running and weight training, in preparation for his month away which could provide him with a springboard into a professional dance company.
That's if he chooses to go down that path.
"It's going to be a really, really great experience," he said.
"And I'll use it to see if I want to be a full-time dancer."
George took up dancing four years ago.
He started out learning Irish dancing, but changed to ballet on the advice of Sue Whiteman.
While he is in Year 11 at Alstonville High School, he is studying dance for his HSC through Southern Cross School K-12's distance education unit.
He will join 55 other dancers from Australia, New Zealand and Thailand at Canberra.
George will be the youngest, and the only dancer not working in a dance company.
He was chosen on the recommendation of Sue Whiteman who has had a long association with the centre.
The choreography for the final production, Reckless Valour, will be done by professional young Australian choreographers.