Fairy tales speak of princesses dancing the night away and there is one girl in Year 10 at Nagle who does exactly that. Ellen Laurie lives and breathes dance. It dominates her life. Dance is her life, and her life is dance.
Ellen started dancing when she was just four years old and has not stopped since. When I asked ‘how much’ Ellen told me she dances so many hours per week, she could not say exactly how many hours…because it is so many. She dedicates every living, breathing second outside of school to dance, and loves it. Her secret; she gives school her undivided attention when she is at school and gives dance her everything when she is at dance.
Juggling school and dance is a challenge but add being cast as an understudy to the lead role of Alice in our Nagle 2021 Alice in Wonderland musical to the equation and you’ve got a jam-packed schedule that does not leave a lot of time for anything else. Five performances of the musical will be performed by a fantastic cast of students across Years 7 to 11. Ellen and the cast are very excited to be performing at the Queens Park Theatre in Term 3. Ellen has been cast as the ‘Alice’ understudy to the talented Keira King, and will have the opportunity to play the lead of Alice in some of the shows. When not performing as Alice, Ellen will play the role of the ‘Knave of Hearts’.
Ellen herself admits that it is hard missing out on some things with such a busy schedule. Sacrificing a lot for dance, means that she misses out on birthday parties, trips, and little things like going to the beach or the movies, but she claims it’s all worth it and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Her talent is not unseen. The countless hours, days, and weeks she has spent dancing were recognised in 2020 where she received the Senior Dancer of the Year award at All Things Dance Geraldton. This prestigious award entitles Ellen to free tuition at All Things Dance for all of 2021. Ellen can choose to join whatever dance class she wishes, which maybe partly explains why she literally listed off so many dance styles that she is trained in, that I zoned out because there were just too many to remember. And with that many dance styles, Ellen cannot pick a favourite; “They all have different things about them that I love”.
As if dancing seven days per week for hours on end AND being part of the whole school musical production of Alice in Wonderland is not enough, Ellen also teaches at All Things Dance. Training up to become a dance teacher is nothing hard for a girl who has been dancing for the best part of 11 years and teaching the junior dancers the basics is a piece of cake for her. Ellen’s drive and determination is something else, really impressive and places Ellen as a great role model for her young dance students at All Things Dance, someone to aspire to and look up to.
Ellen is really looking forward to her Year 10 Dance Option in Semester 2 at Nagle and loves being involved in Dance classes at school as well. When I asked her what she wanted to do in the future she simply replied, “Something to do with dance”. Whether it is travelling as a dancer, dancing in productions, or becoming a dance teacher, what she knows for sure is that dance is destined to be a part of her future and she can’t wait to see in what shape and form it will be…and neither can we as the Nagle Catholic College community.