Claire’s big achievement at the Orange Eisteddfod
Discovering a love of dance almost as soon as she could walk; Claire Menzies has never looked back.
From what began as just a recreational activity, has become Claire’s passion and dream.
Claire has been dancing since the age of three and began solo competition at the age of eight. She studies a variety of styles of dance including jazz, musical theatre, modern, contemporary but it is ballet that she loves the most.
Claire’s passion for the beauty of ballet is the drive that motivates her: “It’s just my love; it allows me to express who I am. When I’m dancing, I feel that I am truly myself,” she enthused. “It’s the driving passion that keeps me motivated.”
Claire’s unique drive and talent were recently recognised with her being the first Orange dancer in recent times to win the Betty Kiernan Memorial Ballet Scholarship at the Orange Eisteddfod.
After completing a master ballet class with the adjudicator, Claire was selected amongst 25 other dancers to be one of 7 finalists to compete in the dance off for the scholarship on Sunday night.
Claire was thrilled simply to be in the dance off against such accomplished competition: “To think that I was competing against such strong, talented dancers was an honour in itself,” she remembered.
But, once again she was confident that she had put her best foot forward. “I just felt privileged to be one of the finalists and I performed my dances with enthusiasm and enjoyment.”
The $2000 scholarship sponsored by Newcrest Mining and Orange Eisteddfod, will go towards any future dance tuition of Claire’s choosing.
Claire’s efforts were more noteworthy as she was competing against dancers most of whom are already training at a full time level whereas Claire only trains 10 hours a week, after school and on the weekend.
“It was fantastic; I had a lot of local support from the community and also my dance teachers and my parents.”
Still only 17 and a student of James Sheahan Catholic High School, Claire is looking at becoming a professional ballet dancer with one of the great ballet companies in Australia or overseas.
Claire’s goal is to audition for a full time ballet school in the near future and ultimately aspire in her classical ballet training to achieve her dream.
The scholarship will greatly assist Claire and her training. She appreciates and thanks all who have helped her on this journey so far.