Mimicking the character she played last year in Glen Innes High School’s production Fame, year 10 student Sarah Ashton has been accepted to a prestigious performing arts school.
From more than 800 applicants, Sarah was one of 30 to 60 students selected based on her academic record, an audition and an interview to the Newtown School of Performing Arts in Sydney.
Sarah will study year 11 and 12 at the school. She said although Glen Innes High School was “really good” she couldn’t study dance properly and had been doing it by distance education.
“I have reached the point where I can’t go any further (in Glen Innes) so I am looking to Sydney,” she said.
Because Sarah hadn’t trained in ballet her whole life she could not apply to ballet schools. Instead, she trialled for the Hunter School of Performing Arts in Newcastle and the Newtown School of Performing Arts in Sydney. Sarah said she was accepted into the Hunter school first and was really excited because she knew she was going somewhere but had her heart set on Newtown.
“It is internationally known and is one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in the country,” she said. “(Auditioning) I was really worried and scared, everyone there had so much talent.”
Sarah started dancing at the age of six with Miss Lett at the Masonic Hall. In year 4 she began doing jazz and rock ‘n’ roll dancing with Lindy Turner at the primary school. By the time she got to high school, she was often told she had a lot of talent and realised that she could make something of it. Sarah took up ballet and pointe classes in Inverell two days a week with Laura King of the Craze Dance Academy.
“Dancing is fun. You can express your feelings through dance without saying anything. Occasionally I will catch a glimpse of someone in the audience who will be smiling or crying and it gives me so much adrenaline,” she said.
Sarah will move to Sydney after Christmas with her mum Jo until she can find someone to live with.
“Mum is an inspiration, she does everything in her power to help us kids reach our goals,” she said.
After she finishes school Sarah said she wanted to pursue a career on Broadway but if she doesn’t make it will study a Bachelor of Arts at the University of NSW to teach dance.