Wingham ballerina Ava Gilbert to train with the Australian Ballet School

Like many little girls, Wingham’s Ava Gilbert dreams of becoming a professional ballerina and touring the world dancing.

Luckily, she is one step closer to realising her dreams.

The nine-year-old student of Kerrie Renee Dance Studio has been accepted into the Australian Ballet School International/Interstate Training Programme (ITP) for 2019.

Dancers from all over the country auditioned earlier in the year for a coveted place on the program.

Ava’s parents, Renee and Andrew Gilbert, took their tiny dancer all the way to Brisbane for the July audition.

“It was an incredibly long wait for the results,” admitted Renee.

But when a letter arrived during the September school holidays bearing the Australian Ballet School logo, Ava couldn’t wait to rip it open.

She was overcome with emotion at being accepted, and to have achieved a goal she set herself many months before.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Ava to travel to Melbourne as much as we can afford to take her next year,” said Renee.

The family hopes to be able to take Ava each month so she can take advantage of the numerous elite level classes available to students of the Australian Ballet School.

She’ll be learning with some of Australia’s best ballet dancers.

Ava fell in love with dancing from a young age and started at just four-years-old.

She flourished under the guidance of Miss Kerrie Bates of Kerrie Renee Dance Studio and currently trains five days a week at the Wingham studio.

“She’s 100 per cent committed,” said Renee.

Ahead of the ITP program, Ava will start 2019 with an equally exciting experience.

She has also been accepted to perform with the Brisbane City Youth Ballet Junior Extension Company for the 2019 season of The Wizard of Oz. 

Ava will travel to Brisbane in January for 16 days of rehearsals before performing for three days in five sold out shows at the Queensland Conservatorium. An audience of around 3500 will see her dance.

“She’s going to have a wonderful experience,” said Renee.

“My husband Andrew and I are so incredibly proud of her.”