Name: Ellie Norton
My name is Ellie Norton and I am 14 years old and I am a dancer. I have no time to socialise or rest. To realise my potential, I have had to leave my family and everything I know in Brisbane and relocate on my own to Melbourne to study full time at the Australian Ballet School. I have worked hard and feel very blessed to be offered this position. I leave behind my friends, teachers, all forms of performance and the life I know to start this next stage. An Aim for the Stars grant will assist me to start the next phase of my journey to reach my goal. A grant will also remove the stress of the financial cost to set up my new arrangements in Melbourne.
When did you start?
I was taken to my first ballet class at 4 years of age and can remember a love of dance from then on. I became serious about ballet as a career from age 9 years.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
Meeting and speaking to Alina Cojocaru (prima ballerina guesting with the Hamburg Ballet Company) was a memorable moment after watching her star in Mid Summer Nights Dream. On a personal level, achieving 99% in my RAD intermediate ballet exam was special after taking the exam when I was exhausted and ill. Winning and placing in a number of eisteddfods and dance events has also been special. Most recently being selected to attend the Australian Ballet School remains the major highlight.
What is your dream?
From an early age, I dreamed of dancing on the Sydney Opera House stage with the Australian Ballet Company. In 2010 I met David McCallister, Artistic Director of the AB and I told him my dream was to dance with the company one day. A few years on, and I hope to realise that dream or dance with a company in Australia, NZ or Europe.
Who or what have inspired you?
I am so fortunate to be training at a school where the Australian Ballet Company train at the end of the same hallway. Daily I watch the company members train and perform. I am inspired by their dedication, commitment and effort which drives me to work harder on my technique and skills. When they are on stage performing for an audience, I see their passion, emotion and the love of dance and it is those moments that remind me why I dance.
Who's your hero?
I have no particular hero but a list of many people who I look up to, admire and love including my current and previous dance teachers and my parents.
Any other special talents?
When I was younger I spent a lot of time at swimming training and competitions. I am also a snow skier and have skied my first black diamond run in Snowbird, Utah, USA.
My IPod is full of music from Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Paquita but I love the latest songs from artists like Katy Perry and MKTO.
Suddenly 30 and Centre Stage are my all time favourite movies to watch with my mum when we are not busy.
I love the Hunger Games series.
Favourite TV Show?
I love to watch MasterChef. The food always looks delicious!
Being a dancer, everyone expects that I only eat super lean and healthy foods, like yoghurt and muesli (which I have every day as a snack along with fruit), but I will admit that my favourite food is chocolate. I know that it is not the best food to eat but it is my treat. I eat it in moderation as I need to fuel my body in the best way.
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
Moving away from home interstate to live independently and train at the Australian Ballet School and study with the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, requires substantial funds to relocate, set up an apartment, buy books and uniforms, pay fees and cover the costs of dance leotards and tutus (not to mention many pairs of pointe shoes!). This money will help with the initial costs and will assist with ongoing costs of the many medical and professional services required including physio, podiatry, dietician. I am hoping there will be a little left over to fly home during school holidays to visit my family in Brisbane. This money is a blessing for myself and my family.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
Appreciate what you have and thank those who help you along the way. Work hard with ever opportunity gifted to you. My personal favourite quote is "It is good to be inspired but it is great to inspire others"