Ballet dancer

Incredible children: Ballet dancer Sam Grammer pursues his dream in Queensland

They say hard work beats talent every time. Luckily, the youngsters in our new series, ‘The Amazing Kids of Marlborough’, have both in spades. reports Alice Angeloni.

A ballerina from Blenheim who moved to Brisbane to pursue her dream of becoming a professional dancer says it felt like a “wacky dream”.

Sam Grammer, 15, moved in January to dance and study at Queensland Ballet Academy.

She goes to class in the morning, dances all afternoon, takes care of her homework in the evening before returning by Skype with her family in Blenheim.

Going to study abroad has always been the “wacky dream”, Sam said.

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“Little Blenheim town girl, it doesn’t really feel like it’s going to happen,” she said.

After Sam took part in the elite summer program with Queensland Ballet last December, they offered him a place in the academy.

“I lost it, I had a seizure,” she said. “It’s my ultimate dream.”

She got the offer on January 7 and three weeks later jumped on a plane and moved to Brisbane.

“Everything was different. There wasn’t a single stable, similar thing in my life,” Sam said.

“The ballet was much more intense, but I was glad it was difficult.”

Sam Grammer, 15, moved to Brisbane to study at the Queensland Ballet Academy.

SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

Sam Grammer, 15, moved to Brisbane to study at the Queensland Ballet Academy.

Her body had to adjust to the intensity of the practice in the first few weeks, she said.

“Even on the first day, my body was so exhausted that I felt like I couldn’t go to class the next day, which was kind of scary.

“But once I figured out where I was and adjusted to the new ballet job, we were good, we were on the right track.”

She said the hardest part was adjusting to family life.

“Because it’s just different and it won’t be the same as your family.”

The ballerina said it was like a little “flip of the switch” and that’s when she knew dancing was what she wanted to do.

Sam started dancing at the age of 5 and has been a student at DANCE on Grove for the past decade.

Grammer has been dancing since the age of 5.

SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

Grammer has been dancing since the age of 5.

She had grown up competing in triathlons and playing hockey alongside ballet, but there came a time when those other interests were dropped.

When Sam was 13, she starred as Aurora in their local production of Sleeping Beauty.

She teamed up with Juilliard graduate Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, who now dances professionally with the Houston Ballet in Texas.

“I learned a lot in that time, it was a special time,” Sam said.

“Partnering with someone who has already achieved the end goal gave me a vision of what I wanted to do. He is a real inspiration to me.”

Sam danced again alongside Guillemot-Rodgerson last year, in the DANCE on Grove production of Mowgli.

Reflecting on his first term at the academy, Sam said it had been tough, but in the “best way possible”.

“I’ve improved and that’s the most satisfying feeling.”

With a tenure under his belt, Grammer said it's been tough, but in the

SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

With a tenure under his belt, Grammer said it’s been tough, but in the “best way possible.”