Farrah dances way to top
DANCER Farrah Roongsang-Ellis is a classic example of how kids in the country can achieve just as much, if not more, as those living in the city.
The Gympie girl has been named Queensland's most promising ballet dancer for two years running.
She was first noticed by industry professionals in 2011 when she won the award against many dancers from prestigious dance schools in major centres across the state.
Farrah won the award again at the end of 2012 against the same group of statewide dancers, which places her as one of Queensland's top amateur ballet dancers.
The Cooloola Christian College Year 11 student is not at all fazed by the honour.
Despite her natural ability and years of dedication and hard work, Farrah has her sights set on becoming a vet.
Mum Karen Ellis, a trained dancer herself, said her daughter was born to be a dancer - physically.
"Farrah has good placement," she said, explaining this meant she was flexible enough to hold positions higher, more firmly and longer than most dancers at her level.
"You're either born with that (ability) or not.
"To not have it naturally would require an extreme amount of adjustment."
Farrah attends dance classes with Michelle Weber at The Dance Academy Cooloola most days of the week and says she just does it "for the fun of it", not the desire for a dancing career or the accolades.
"I like being able to keep fit with an activity that's fun," she said.
"I'm more interested in being able to do a fun sport that has a lot of creativity to it and involves lots of people."
Farrah started dancing at three years old, inspired by her mum. Karen still dances, teaches a few senior classes at the academy and has played a big part in helping Farrah refine her skills.
"Mum helps me when I'm prepping for exams."
Karen refused to take any credit, saying her daughter achieved high results by "working extremely hard" and dedicating many hours to perfect techniques.
"This reassures to us that kids in the country can do it too," she said.
"We've got kids here in Gympie that excel just as well as dancers in the big city academies."
Both Karen and Farrah praised dance instructor Michelle for her dedication, experience and guidance.
Farrah will step up this year from senior to advanced dancer - the second highest level a student dancer can reach.
"I'm on the second last step; advanced, and then will be heading to premier once I pass the next exam at the end of the year."
While Farrah has excelled in ballet, she also trains in the styles of jazz, tap and contemporary.
Every year she is involved in a dance concert around August as a showcase for the dance school.
"I'm not sure what I want to do with dancing," she said. "I really want to become a vet once I leave school. I'm not that interested in pursuing dance for a career. It's been a good hobby."
Study and dancing take up most of Farrah's spare time, but she doesn't mind.
As an only child, it gives her a chance to hang out with other kids.
"Dancing is a great hobby to get into. It's creative and helps you keep fit.
"Practice is hard but I always have fun in the lessons."
If Farrah applies this level of commitment to her school work, it is highly likely she will get into the School of Veterinary Science.
"I like to get good grades and try my best," she said, confident that caring for animals was her first choice.
While Karen wishes she had her daughter's level of natural ability, she supports Farrah's decisions "totally and absolutely".