Dancing in a fairytale castle at Disneyland is something many little girls must dream of and three young Whanganui dancers recently lived the dream when they visited California.

Teenagers Anna Durning, Niamh Hogan and Adelaide Hodges have been dancing together at Shirley McDouall School of Dance since they were pre-schoolers.

More recently, they have been training in classical, vocational, modern and contemporary ballet at the dance school with Melissa Tate.

The girls were offered the opportunity to travel to the United States with students from Maureen Ax School of Dance in Palmerston North and joined the group in performing work choreographed by Louise Baker.


Adelaide, Anna and Niamh worked at part-time jobs after school and during the holidays to raise funds for the trip.

The group were in the US for two weeks and spent time in Los Angeles, where they visited the studio where Dancing with the Stars is recorded and danced with some of the cast members on live TV.

They also attended workshops at famous dance studios IDA Hollywood, Millennium Dance Studio and the Edge dance studio.

The girls got to work with dance teachers Rumor Noel, Cedric Botelho and Danny Vale - instructors to stars such as Chris Brown, Michael Buble and Beyonce.

They also attended career seminars with Matt Steffanina (who works with the likes of Taylor Swift and Snoop Dog) and Michelle Garman, a Disney choreographer for shows such as Shake it Off.

"We were on stage at Disneyland for around half an hour and we performed four routines," said Anna.

All three dancers said they loved the trip and learned a lot from the experience.
Going to America and being immersed in a variety of styles of dance has been an invaluable experience for the trio.

They were inspired by taking workshops and classes with accomplished choreographers.
They were grateful to their parents and families for their support.

Anna and Niamh, 16, and Adelaide, 17, say they have not stopped dancing since they were little and all find the idea of a dance career appealing.

A group of little students were waiting outside the door at the dance school, gazing with awe as the trio were photographed.

It looks as though Niamh, Anna and Adelaide already have a devoted fan base.