Monday 18 November 2019

Ballerina hopes for public lift in pirouetting her way to top

Juliet Casey (17), a ballet dancer from the Debbie Allen School of Dance in Dundrum, who has been accepted
to a prestigious UK ballet school
Juliet Casey (17), a ballet dancer from the Debbie Allen School of Dance in Dundrum, who has been accepted to a prestigious UK ballet school
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

AN IRISH ballerina who beat hundreds of rivals to land a place with a prestigious ballet school is pinning her hopes on the generosity of the public to make her dream come true.

Juliet Casey (17) from Walkinstown in Dublin has been studying ballet since she was just three-years-old and is a member of the Irish National Youth Ballet Company for the past five years.

She fought off stiff competition from almost 400 other dancers to win a place at the renowned Northern Ballet School in Manchester, England.

However, fees for the four-year course cost £11,310 (€14,292) a year and Juliet is holding a fundraising concert at Kimmage Manor in Dublin tonight.

There is no full-time ballet school in Ireland, so Juliet has always known that if she wants to fulfil her dream of being a prima ballerina then she would have to leave home to study.

"It's what I've been building up to my whole life. I'm really excited although I'm a bit nervous too," she said.

Juliet was recently awarded a €3,120 scholarship from the VEC which is awarded to exceptionally talented students. She now hopes the fundraiser will bring her closer to her target.

She said she has been bowled over by the generosity of the public to her appeal and is keeping her fingers crossed that she will be able to enroll in the school next month. Until then she is concentrating on her rigorous dance schedule.

Katherine Jenkins, artistic director of the Irish National Youth Ballet Company, said Juliet was a very talented and determined young dancer.

"Unfortunately we don't have a full-time dance college in Ireland specifically for ballet so we all have to go away to train.

"It's her dream, it's a very, very difficult profession. I wouldn't say she made the choice (to leave Ireland) lightly, but now she's made it, she's going to run with it."

An 'Evening of Classical Music', which also features a performance by Juliet, takes place at Kimmage Manor at 7pm tonight, adult tickets €10, family tickets €30.

Irish Independent

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