ALSTONVILLE dancer Tara Coughlan is a prime example of achievement over adversity.

The 18-year-old from Ballina, who has Down Syndrome, will perform at the Australian Youth Dance Festival in Renmark, South Australia, to be held from April 10 to 16.

She will be accompanied by her friend and duet partner Cassie Warman, 26, from Alstonville who teaches at the Alstonville Dance Studio they attend.

Miss Coughlan practices a variety of dance styles and said she was looking forward to kicking up her heels at the festival.

"I do modern dance and I love hip-hop dancing, but sometimes I also breakdance at home," she proclaimed with a smile.

The keen performer, who said she has been dancing since she could walk, added that she was pretty nervous for what will be a performance in front of thousands.

"I think I'll do ok, though, and, hopefully, I'll meet lots of new friends who also dance," she said.

The women's duet routine is inspired by Miss Coughlan's artwork - primarily bright, beautiful and colourful.

Miss Warman said she was feeling a "little bit worried" about the performance, but wouldn't miss the experience.

"It'll be amazing, and it'll be good to see how other teachers and choreographers teach," she said. "I really think Tara's going to be magnificent. Everyone's going to love her."

Studio owner, Suzanne Whiteman, was proud of the women and confident they would do well.


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