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European auditions beckon for dux dancer
Year 12 graduate Holly Pooley. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

Dedicated ballet dancer Holly Pooley was among thousands of school leavers to find out their final Year 12 exam results when they were released online late yesterday, hours ahead of schedule.

The 17-year-old, who was this year's academic dux of the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education, studied at home each night after a full day of dance training.

She said she was "very happy" with her results, which put her among the State's top students, but her focus was now back on her dancing.

The Como teen will head to Europe next week to audition for tertiary ballet schools in England, France, Germany and Switzerland.

Holly said she worked at her ballet from 8am to 4pm every day at the Academie Etoiles in Booragoon.

Then she sat at her desk from 5pm to 9pm, studying English, French, mathematics 3AB and politics and law from books and online lessons.

"It was pretty full-on," she said. "During school hours I danced and then I got home and did my schoolwork."

Despite the gruelling schedule, Holly said studying over the internet suited her independent learning style.

"Studying through SIDE gave me the flexibility to be able to dance through the day but still continue and keep up my education," she said.

"It allowed me to do what I really wanted to do."

Holly, who started dancing lessons when she was five, left Penrhos College two years ago when she decided to take up ballet full-time.

"It's been something I've loved all my life," she said.

Even though her Year 12 results will not be required to get into a ballet school, they will qualify her for her fall-back plan of studying science at the University of WA.

If her auditions are successful she will defer UWA, but she hopes to return to study eventually to do neuroscience or sports psychology.

Another option open to her is modelling, which she took up part-time after she was spotted by an agent in the aisles of her local IGA store.

But Holly said it was unlikely she would make that a career. "I do enjoy it, but it's not something I want to take much further," she said.

Tertiary Institutions Service Centre chief executive Steve Hoath said it released the WA Certificate of Education results early to make sure any problems were ironed out before students were expecting to see them today.

He said the website had 1000 hits within 20 minutes of the results being released and more than 4000 in the first hour.

Students have until Friday to change their university preferences.

_The West Australian _will reveal WA's top students and list all the award winners on Saturday.

During school hours I danced and then I got home and did my schoolwork. " Dancer Holly Pooley