Whitfield, Australia to Paris, France.

In the early hours of the 14th of February 2014 I woke to some amazing news.

My audition for the Paris Opera Ballet School summer intensive…

A place in a class with 24 other kids, applications from all over the universe…

At one of the most famous and prestigious ballet schools on the planet…

…was accepted.  O…M…G!!!!


Hi, I’m Catherine and I’m 10 years old.  I live in a small town in the North East of Victoria.  The area is known as the King Valley and all the grown ups talk about is the fantastic wine and food around here.  All I talk about is ballet, dance and performing.  It’s something I’ve been doing for 7 years, so my family are used to it.  Mum and dad drive a 250km round trip, four times a week so that I can do my classes in Wodonga.  Though this is nothing new.

When I first stated learning to dance, we were living in the Mallee near a town called Ouyen.  It was a 300km round trip to Mildura and we would do this twice a week.  My teachers were great and they kept telling Mum that they thought I had something special.  I didn’t know, I don’t think I really cared.  I just loved to dance.

A few years later (and 1,000s of kilometres), we moved to Melbourne.  Luckily my new dance school was just down the road.  I started exams and began to achieve first class results with honours and awards.  I received a scholarship and entered the Junior Development Program with the Melbourne Ballet Company.  This was so cool.  I started doing solo performances on stage in front of hundreds of people.  Nervous at first, but when the music starts, I become someone else and well, I love that feeling.

A couple of years ago, we moved… again, back to the country but on the other side of the state. We move a lot because of Dad’s work.  I stayed with the Melbourne school for 18 months, so I would cram as much time as I could on a Saturday.  Up at 5.00am to start the 500km round trip.

Now I am at the Regional Academy of Performing Arts in Wodonga where I study classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, hip-hop and musical theatre.  I get one on one training here too, perfecting technique and strength.

Today is like any other day except for one small teeny tiny thing.  I have somewhere to be in July 2014.  I have to travel from a tiny town in Victoria, Australia to the other side of the world to spend two weeks in Paris France.  This is my chance to show everyone that I do have something special and to grow as a dancer.  If I can get there and shine, I can be asked to audition for their full time school. 

I get butterflies in my stomach every time I think about it.  Mum and Dad can’t believe it and all the kids at my primary school and my teachers are all very excited.  I’m one of 33 kids in the whole school!! 

My ballet teachers tell me that this opportunity is going to change the rest of my life and that very few people ever have one moment that could change everything. People can go through life and never ever have that chance.  I just know I love ballet. 

It’s a long way from home to Paris and it costs a lot of money. It will be summer there and during high season so everything is more expensive than normal.  Airfares, accommodation, food (I’m not sure about snails and frogs legs. Sounds gross.)

Please support me and be a part of this amazing opportunity.  Merci beaucoup!!


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Benno Dorns 
Whitfield, VIC
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