Ballet academy

Wellington’s teenage ballerina’s pirouettes won her a spot at the Houston Ballet Academy

Fifteen-year-old ballerina Macy Cook will be hard at work next year, training at the Houston Ballet Academy in America.

ROSA WOODS/STUFF

Fifteen-year-old ballerina Macy Cook will be hard at work next year, training at the Houston Ballet Academy in America.

Fifteen-year-old ballerina Macy Cook trains at least 25 hours a week, perfecting her pirouettes.

Her hard work has paid off, as she flies to America in mid-August to take up a place at Houston Ballet Academy, the official school of Houston Ballet, America’s fourth-largest ballet company.

Training began early in the Miramar teenager’s life, although she had almost given up dancing altogether.

Macy started dancing when she was 3 years old.

ROSA WOODS/STUFF

Macy started dancing when she was 3 years old.

“I started dancing when I was three, but quit after a term,” Macy said.

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But she returned when she was seven, and by nine she was determined to dance for her career. Since then, she has received offers from ballet schools around the world, including Queensland and San Francisco, to come and continue her training.

The appeal of ballet and stage performance is sometimes difficult for the teenager to put into words.

“I don’t really know how to explain it,” she said. “It’s all the hard work you’ve put in and you really can’t think of anything else [when you’re performing]you just danced.

“I really like the athletic part of ballet and seeing how far you can push your body.”

The young dancer has built up an impressive resume, including a two-year scholarship to the Chilton Saint James Ballet Academy in Lower Hutt, was named best dancer in her age group at the 2017 Alana Haines Australasian Awards and competed at the Youth America Grand Prix Final. in New York in April 2018 to name a few.

“She’s been working for a really long time and she’s so passionate about what she does,” mom Kirsty said.

Macy auditioned for the Houston Ballet Academy earlier this year and was offered a full scholarship for her year, worth more than $10,000.

The hard part isn’t quite over yet – while her fees are paid, the teenager still has to fundraise to cover additional costs such as travel, medical insurance and accommodation.

Her grandfather, artist Brian Strong, put 25 of her oil paintings up for auction on TradeMe to help raise money for the dancer, and the family set up a Givealittle page to help Macy.

* Learn more about Macy’s through its website. To help her on her journey, check out the Trademe listings or her Givealittle page.