AN 11-year-old Birkdale girl mentored by noted US ballerina Dusty Button is dancing at QPAC with one of the world’s oldest and most renowned ballet companies.
Kenzie Andrews has been cast in Brisbane performances of classical ballet Don Quixote put on by visiting Italian troupe Teatro alla Scala for their first Australian season.
The company, founded in 1819, is in the country for exclusive performances of Don Quixote and Giselle at QPAC until Sunday, November 18.
QPAC chief executive John Kotzas said six shipping containers filled with sets and costumes were sent to Brisbane from Milan for the shows.
Dancers are accompanied by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, with Don Quixote to be simulcast live on Saturday to 10 regional Queensland venues, including at Bundaberg, Maryborough, Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville.
Kenzie has been cast as child dancer in Don Quixote, helping Teatro alla Scala in their debut Australian performance for the show’s opening night on Wednesday.
Kenzie’s mum Tracey Andrews said her daughter, who studied at Tingalpa’s Annette Roselli Dance Academy, was ready to make ballet a career.
Kenzie trains up to six hours a day, most days of the week and was featured as one of five gifted children on ABC documentary Making Child Prodigies.
She has also been offered a scholarship to attend The Houston Ballet Academy next year for up to three months and trains at the Queensland Ballet Academy, also travelling to Melbourne to attend the Australian Ballet School as part of an interstate program.
“She is very self-driven,” Ms Andrews said. “She’ll be up at 6am every morning to stretch and then do preparation.”
“I did do dancing but not of this calibre. This is a commitment.”
Ms Andrews said Kenzie raised money for her own travels, selling her own line of hair accessories via Instagram and helping her musician dad to write songs, which he sold on iTunes.
The 11-year-old was also sponsored by her idol, Button, who provided leotards to Kenzie from her Bravado Dancewear range.
The Andrews moved from Rockhampton to Birkdale earlier this year to help Kenzie chase her dancing dreams closer to Brisbane.
Kenzie, who is in year five, is known as a talented turner. She can pirouette seven times while wearing pointe ballet slippers.