STAR IN THE MAKING: Ballina dancer Tara Coughlan last weekend attended the first of two workshops in Sydney for dancers with a disability.
STAR IN THE MAKING: Ballina dancer Tara Coughlan last weekend attended the first of two workshops in Sydney for dancers with a disability.

Tara wants to be a dance star

THERE is little doubt about Ballina dancer Tara Coughlan's goals.

"I want to be on television and be a star," the 18-year-old said.

There is a long way for her to go to achieve that goal of being a professional dancer, but she is definitely on the right path.

Last Saturday she attended the first of a series of two workshops for dancers in NSW with a disability run by the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO). The next workshop will be held next week.

Tara, who has Down Syndrome and is a member of the Alstonville-based Sprung! integrated dance theatre association, was one of only six dancers in the State selected for the workshops.

"I'm really happy," she said of her selection.

The workshop was held at the ACO headquarters, which is right next-door to the Sydney Opera House.

Tara said she would love one day to dance in the Opera House itself.

She started formal dancing lessons when she was four, but her mum, Robyn Brady, said she loved to dance even as a toddler.

"Dancing makes me very happy," Tara said.

"Dancing has given me a really good life."

Tara, who attends Xavier Catholic College and is a student of Sue Whiteman's Alstonville Dance Studio, last year attended other non-selective dance workshops in Sydney and has been selected for the Beyond Reach Residency to be held near Nowra later this year.

Sprung! is for young adults with or without disabilities, and Tara featured in the Sprung! photographic exhibition, which was on display at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina earlier this year.


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