Ballet dancers Jacqueline Samms and Lily Kate Folpp training at Susan Whiteman's dance studio in Alstonville.
Ballet dancers Jacqueline Samms and Lily Kate Folpp training at Susan Whiteman's dance studio in Alstonville. Nolan Verheij-Full

Top young ballerinas awarded local dance school scholarships

A MASTERCLASS from some of the region's best ballerinas is just one small step for scholarship winners as they contemplate a life in dance.

After strong performances at this year's Lismore Festival, Lily Kate Folpp and Jacqueline Samms were awarded scholarships to attend a ballet masterclass at Suzanne Whiteman's Alstonville Dance Studio yesterday.

The masterclass included tuition in basic ballet steps as well as a repertoire piece.

Ballet dancers Jacqueline Samms and Lily Kate Folpp training at Susan Whiteman's dance studio in Alstonville.
Ballet dancers Jacqueline Samms and Lily Kate Folpp training at Susan Whiteman's dance studio in Alstonville. Nolan Verheij-Full

Lily Kate, who has been dancing for as long as she can remember, said the workshop was part of her build-up to an international dance competition in New Zealand next year.

The 14-year-old said a good performance there could see her earmarked by some of the world's leading ballet troupes.

The masterclass was delivered by Janece Graham who began her career with the London Festival Ballet. She has since helped train some of Australia's most successful dancers.

Lily Kate's mother France Folpp said the chance for her daughter to learn from experienced dancers was a wonderful opportunity.

Mrs Folpp said her daughter was devoted to dance, missing school two days a week to attend intensive training.

"It is a six-day-a-week commitment, with at least 25 hours of tuition," Mrs Folpp said.

Ms Graham said getting to the top in dance took more than commitment and talent.

"If you are going to make it you must have passion," she said.

Ms Graham said it was often those dancers who had to work hard and stay focussed who achieved success and she told the girls they had to aim high.

POINTE TO PROVE: Young dancers at Susan Whiteman’s Dance Studio in Alstonville.
POINTE TO PROVE: Young dancers at Susan Whiteman’s Dance Studio in Alstonville. Nolan Verheij-Full

"If you aim to be a dance teacher you could end up feeling frustrated that you didn't take your dancing further," she said.

Ms Whiteman has been running her Alstonville studio for the last 30 years and regularly awards scholarships to young dancers.

She divides her time between Alstonville and Thailand where she also runs dance classes.

Ballet dancers Lily Kate Folpp and Jacqueline Samms stretching outside Susan Whiteman's dance studio in Alstonville.
Ballet dancers Lily Kate Folpp and Jacqueline Samms stretching outside Susan Whiteman's dance studio in Alstonville. Nolan Verheij-Full

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