Teen ballerina fulfilling her lifelong ambition

By Hannah Norton

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When Inge Carolus was a toddler in South Africa she insisted on walking everywhere on her tip toes.

So it was no surprise when she chose ballet as her vocation when she was just 5 years old.

"Her daycare teacher ... told me that her soul would not rest until we took her to a ballet school," said mother Natalie Carolus.

"Before she was born I knew she was going to be a ballet dancer.

"When the doctor said it was a girl I just knew, I could feel it.".

The Carolus family moved to Northland when Inge was 10, and she immediately enrolled in the Northern Dance Academy in Kerikeri.

Five years later and the Pompallier College student is off to compete at the Genee Dance Challenge - ballet's equivalent to the Olympics.

"I feel really privileged to be going to this prestigious competition," said Inge who, despite already having many achievements under her belt views this as the "biggest one yet".

For the first time, the Royal Academy of Dance will hold the Genee International Ballet Competition in Wellington.

It's named in remembrance of one of the founders of the academy, Dame Adeline Genee, and the Genee Dance Challenge section of the event, which Inge is competing in, is specifically for younger aspiring ballerinas.

Inge hopes to use this to eventually go into full-time training and "then get into a big ballet company one day".

"I'd like to really make it big in the ballet world."

She's being supported by the Oxford Sports Trust and will be accompanied to the event by Bream Bay Ballet teacher Kristin Orr.

Inge travels an hour from Oakleigh, just out of Whangarei, to Kerikeri to train at the Northern Dance Academy with teacher Liz Russell three times week. Along with stretching at home, this works out to be around eight to ten hours of ballet training a week.

- Northern Advocate

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