ON POINTE: Gatton dancer Halle Randall has been awarded a youth bursary from the Toowoomba Empire Theatre Foundation's Youth Program. Photo: Supplied.
ON POINTE: Gatton dancer Halle Randall has been awarded a youth bursary from the Toowoomba Empire Theatre Foundation's Youth Program. Photo: Supplied.

Young dancer twirls into youth foundation bursary program

TWELVE-year-old dancer Halle Randall calls dancing her “happy place”, and this week she was told she is to receive a Youth Bursary from Toowoomba’s Empire Theatre Foundation’s Youth Program.

The bursaries will be presented at the Empire Theatre on November 6, and Halle’s mother, Kylie Randall, said she would be using the bursary to attend the Conroy Dance Summer School in January.

Halle – who has danced with Dance Force Gatton since she was four – submitted a written application to be eligible for the bursary, and took part in a panel interview as part of the process earlier this month.

Halle has also been dancing this year with Lockyer District High School’s dance troupe teacher Linsey Groves.

Ms Randall said her daughter loved performing “and she likes to see the looks on people’s faces and she likes to know they’re enjoying the performance”.

She said Halle was also passionate about teaching and choreography, and would one day like to become a dance teacher.

“She loves helping the young children become better at the steps they’re learning and helping them to master new steps.”

Halle currently teaches the five-year-olds at Dance Force, as well as performing in the studio’s solo and group routines and taking the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing (CSTD) exams in jazz, tap and ballet.

“I think it gives her confidence, not only in dancing but in everyday life,” Ms Randall said.

Chair of the Empire Theatre Foundation Janelle Fletcher said this week that more than 400 bursaries had been awarded over the past 15 years of the bursary program.

Ms Fletcher said hundreds of developing artists had been interviewed, including young actors, musicians and dancers.

“We’re very grateful that local businesses are our sponsors, as well as private donors.”

She said the bursaries allowed young people to attend workshops and courses that helped give them an idea about what was happening outside their region in the arts.

“And 98 per cent of the time the kids come back and say it was the most incredible experience, so it’s about that whole concept of inspiring them and making their dreams happen.”

She said this year the Foundation had received the highest number of entrants, with 80 people aged between 12 and 25 applying from around the Western Downs, Lockyer and Toowoomba.


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