CLASS READY: MM Studio Dance.
CLASS READY: MM Studio Dance. DEIRDRE SMITH

Tiny dancers leap with the stars

WHEN little dancers grow up in the country, it's not so easy for them to get to the ballet.

Luckily for Stanthorpe's aspiring prima ballerinas, the dancers are coming to them.

Queensland Ballet is pirouetting into the Southern Downs for free educational workshops that offer teaching and coaching from the troupe's highly skilled dancers.

The sessions are for children aged six to 17 and will be held on Thursday, June 20, at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre.

Several members of the six and-seven-year-old class at MM Studios Dance have already signed up to attend.

Teacher Michaela Sabburg said it was good to see the Queensland Ballet come to Stanthorpe.

"It means regional kids can get the same opportunity as city kids,” she said.

Queensland Ballet is also visiting Stanthorpe State High School and Greenlands State School on June 21 to deliver free in-school workshops.

Queensland Ballet has undergone a revival since Li Cunxin joined the company in 2013 as artistic director.

Mr Li said Queensland Ballet was delighted to provide regional communities with the chance to experience their teaching expertise.

Mr Li's own life story was the subject of the book and film Mao's Last Dancer.

One of a family of seven boys, he was born into poverty in rural China but was selected by talent scouts to study ballet in Beijing.

"The aim of our regional tour is to inspire regional Queenslanders to experience the physical, social and emotional benefits of dance,” he said.

For more information and to register your interest in the workshops, visit www. queenslandballet.com.au/ learn/2019-regional-school- community-workshops.

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