The West

Country dancers for ballet school
Port Hedland dancers Eloise Taylor and Safiyah Cook have secured spots The Australian Ballet School's training program. Picture: Alex Massey/The West Australian

Port Hedland dancers Safiyah Cook and Eloise Taylor will soon swap the red dirt of the Pilbara for the illustrious sprung floor of the Australian Ballet School.

Safiyah, 9, and Eloise, 10, have received letters of offer to join the prestigious Melbourne school's training program.

Safiyah's proud mum Michelle said the duo had travelled to Perth with three other dancers from Hedland's Jazz, Ballet and Tap Incorporated to audition for the program in July.

"To have two girls accepted is huge for our school and Port Hedland," she said yesterday.

"It is unheard of for two students from the same school to be accepted."

Safiyah and Eloise will go to Melbourne next year for the program.

They will get a chance to audition for a full-time position when they turn 13.

"They've got their foot in the door," Mrs Cook said.

"This is when the Australian Ballet School starts watching the kids at this age."

The Australian Ballet School's Marcus Bennett said the institution was Australia's national centre for elite vocational classical dance.

"The Australian Ballet School is an autonomous, not-for-profit organisation that auditions and accepts students based solely on talent and artistic potential, regardless of their financial circumstances," he said, adding it was rare to have two students from a rural town invited to join the program.

Almost 90 per cent of the school's graduates get contracts with professional dance companies within 12 months of graduation.

Since 1964, the Australian Ballet has employed about 360 dancers from the Australian Ballet School.

The West Australian

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