Ballet dancer with pointe to prove

Isabella Smith (15) of Greenwood. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d497554
Isabella Smith (15) of Greenwood. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d497554

THE competition at Prix de Lausanne may keep Subiaco-trained ballerina Isabella Smith on her toes but the teen is more than equipped, rehearsing almost 30 hours a week in the lead-up to the event.

Subiaco’s The Graduate College of Dance student Isabella, who has trained in ballet since age seven, was one of among 84 dancers around the globe chosen to compete at the 2020 Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland from February 2 to 9.

About 377 candidates applied from across 44 countries but 15-year-old Isabella was the only ballerina from WA who was successful.

The Greenwood resident will perform two pieces for the nine panel jury: the Breadcrumb Fairy variation from Sleeping Beauty and a Swan Lake contemporary variation.

“I didn’t even know I was old enough to do it but my ballet teacher said I should apply,” she said.

“I had the time and space, so I submitted a video; it was funny because when I found out I got accepted, I thought mum was playing a joke on me and she sent the email but she didn’t.”

The competition allows some of the world’s top young dancers of all nationalities, aged 15 to 18, who are not yet professionals to compete.

Six to eight scholarships will be presented to finalist winners, and if Isabella is named a scholarship recipient, she hopes to receive one at either England’s The Royal Ballet or Paris Opera in France.

“It would be great to go to a prestigious ballet school to get good training and technique so I can then hopefully get into a good company and that can be my job so I can get paid to do ballet rather than pay to do it,” she said.

“I really just love performing; if you can make the audience feel something, you’ve done some good.”