Young dancer picked to join RNZB for show

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The world is at the feet of young Catlins ballerina Kate Jackson (12).

The Catlins Area School pupil will soon be joining the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) company in Dunedin to dance in their latest production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite

Nutcracker is the company’s latest national touring production, and is scheduled to be performed on November 17 and 18 at the Regent Theatre in Dunedin with a live orchestra.

Kate said that despite feeling a little bit nervous at the start of the auditions, she really enjoyed the process.

“It was kind of scary at first but I really enjoyed it and I was pretty excited to be selected to join the ballet company.

“My mum is pretty proud of me, but first I have to take my exams and get my pointe shoes.” she said.

Kate has been studying ballet and dance for seven years at Clutha Dance, and the principal, Elspeth Geddes, said she was pretty excited that Kate had been selected for the performance.

“Originally we all went up for the auditions in June just for the experience.

“We were all very surprised and excited when Kate was selected from among the 50 girls trying out for just two places.

“Over 600 girls nationally tried out for positions with the company, so we were very happy when Kate was selected.”

Ms Geddes added that now the hard work begins for Kate, as once she passes her ballet exams she will then undertake an intensive three-day block of training in Dunedin.

Then Kate has to commit to three hours of training each week before she joins the company for another two days of rehearsals prior to the performances in Dunedin.

Ms Geddes said that Kate was born to be a dancer, and it all started when her mother took her along to Swan Lake, where the 4-year-old Kate was seen dancing in the aisles to the music.