AT the end of January Kassidy Waters will start on a journey which she hopes will end with her joining Bangarra Dance Theatre - Australia’s leading indigenous performing arts company.
Kassidy from Lower Belford has been accepted into the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association – Dance College (NAISA) at Kariong on the Central Coast.
For the 17-year-old it’s the start of training for a career as a professional dancer and she is hoping it will lead onto becoming a member of the Sydney based Bangarra Dance Theatre.
While still in high school Kassidy was accepted as a member of the New South Wales Aboriginal Dance Academy and it was during her time with the academy that she was able to sit in and watch the training sessions and rehearsals of the Bangarra dancers.
“It was amazing to watch the professionals and I would love to become a member of Bangarra but I know it will require a lot of hard work to get there,” said Kassidy.
Kassidy grew up on her family’s farm spending many hours on horseback, she attended Kirkton Public School and then did her first two years of high school at St Catherine’s Catholic College.
In year nine she was accepted into the Hunter School of Performing Arts (HSPA) at Broadmeadow based on her dramatic skills.
During her years at HSPA she was a member of the school’s Millabah Aboriginal Dance Group something she really enjoyed.
To gain entry into NAISA Kassidy attended a week long audition and workshop program at the college last year.
She can study at the college full-time for four years with the study program covering traditional Aboriginal and Islander dances as well as contemporary and ballet classes.
Looking forward to the challenges of NAISA, Kassidy is pleased some of her friends from the NSW Aboriginal Dance Academy will be joining her at Kariong.
Until she turns 18 in May she will have to commute from the farm to Kariong as the college’s residences only cater for students over 18 years.
But she is used to a long commute for her studies as she has been making a daily trek to Newcastle for the past four years.
And that daily grind worked to her advantage with her gaining entry into NAISA.