Ballerina takes a big leap forward

By Kaysha Brownlie

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Tayla-Rose Frisby, wearing her tutu for the Don Quixote ballet, Kitri variation, Act 3. Photo / Kaysha Brownlie
Tayla-Rose Frisby, wearing her tutu for the Don Quixote ballet, Kitri variation, Act 3. Photo / Kaysha Brownlie

At just 13 years old, a Napier ballet dancer has already begun paving her way to fame, proving she is "special in more ways than one".

Tayla-Rose Frisby has just been re-accepted as an associate scholar with New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington.

The Napier Girls' High student will travel to and from Wellington for classes throughout the year, adding to her already gruelling training regime.

She attends classes at Brunsdon School of Dance most days a week, and rises at 6am to get in an hour's practice before school each day.

The keen dancer performs grand jete after grand jete in the Onekawa studio and easily nails a triple pirouette, like she was born to do it.

"I first became interested in dancing when my grandma used to take me to watch it when I was younger," Tayla-Rose says.

There is now no doubt about which career path she is striving toward: "I hope to be a professional ballerina."

Her dance teacher, Heather Brunsdon, says being accepted into the school makes Tayla-Rose one of New Zealand's top dancers.

The teenager had her first foray into professional dancing when she was first accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance three years ago.

She sat an exam in November last year to regain her place, this time at a higher level, dancing with students a year above her.

While she is talented and dancing has been a constant, Mrs Brunsdon says it has not come without hard work.

"There's always something to correct. It's the discipline of dancing."

"Every time she comes to class she gives 100 per cent," she says. "People get a lot out of watching her."

Tayla-Rose's family supports her dedication and effort to become a professional ballet dancer, with her grandmother sewing the exquisite costumes that add that extra onstage twinkle.

"Dancing is in the family, my sister and I danced when we were younger," her mother, Mel Frisby, says.

"We're very proud of her and her younger brother is very supportive."

While Mrs Brunsdon corrects Tayla-Rose's arabesque, the dancer's mother looks on in reverence.

Mrs Brunsdon explains: "She is special in more ways than one, our Tayla-Rose."


She was an IVF baby and her parents waited 12 years to have her. Then her younger brother was born - also an IVF baby.

Despite most mornings, evenings and weekends being consumed by dancing, she leads a life like most other teenagers.

Baking, watching television and playing on her cellphone come a close second to dancing.

Tayla-Rose dances in each end-of-year recital and she is working toward her advanced two British Ballet Organisation ballet exams.

When asked whether she thought her student would make it to the top, Mrs Brunsdon said: "Yes, I do think she will. She could definitely do it."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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