Bay dancer wins prestigious scholarship at M'Boro Eisteddfod
AT JUST 14, Maddy Challies is already on her way to a career in the performing arts.
What started as a dream is becoming more of a reality for the teen who was the only Hervey Bay dancer to win a prestigious scholarship at the Maryborough Eisteddfod.
The scholarship will give the Sparks Dance Centre performer a chance to experience life as a student in a professional dance company.
"I was just speechless when they announced that I won it," Maddy said.
"It was really tough competition and I was so excited."
In July, the Xavier Catholic College Year 9 student will get to spend a week with Raw Dance Company in Brisbane learning new routines and finding out more about the industry.
She was one of two dancers to receive the award. The second was from Bundaberg.
The breakthrough came on the back of a jam-packed eisteddfod schedule for Maddy who competed in 11 categories.
"In groups, we got four first places, and also four second places," she said.
"I also came third in my hip-hop solo."
To be eligible for the scholarship, Maddy had to take part in a workshop and demonstrate an ability to pick up choreography quickly.
"We started off with a warm-up at the barre and then learned a jazz routine," she said.
"I'm really looking forward to going to Brisbane and getting to meet more professionals."
Maddy was three when she first put on a pair of ballet shoes and has been dancing ever since.
"If you're having a tough time or a hard day, dance is a way to let it all out and express yourself," she said.
"I'd love to go on to do something full-time like working on Broadway, in Dubai, or on cruise ships."