Kenzie Andrews on stage in the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Growing up in North Rockhampton, Kenzie Andrews has often been told that pursuing her dream of a career in the performing arts would not possible unless she left the country behind and moved to the city. But at just nine years old she is already proving those people wrong!
Kenzie, who won the Sydney Eisteddfod Classical Ballet (9 years) event in 2016, has recently been selected to compete in New York at the Finals of the Youth America Grand Prix in April 2017. After successfully competing at the Semi-Finals in Brisbane earlier in the year, she is fortunate enough to be one of only two Australians in her division chosen to progress further in the competition.
Training and preparing for competitions is no easy feat for Kenzie, who travels eight hours each way to study with her classical coach Claudia Dean, of Claudia Dean Coaching. This level of dedication and commitment to training is inspiring, especially for someone so young. There is no doubt that all of her hard work will pay off as she continues to grow as a dancer.
Kenzie recently took some time to speak to Sydney Eisteddfod about why she loves dancing and what she is most looking forward to about her upcoming travels.
Why do you love dancing?
When I'm dancing I feel that it's easier for me to show how I'm feeling than using words. With Ballet I love how I actually use every single muscle in my body to tell a story, it's amazing!
Who inspired you to start dancing?
I first wanted to dance after watching my cousin dance at Sydney Eisteddfod when I was little. Going backstage was like a dream with all of the beautiful ballerinas in their tutus, I couldn't wait to do the same!
What do you do to prepare for your performances?
Before I go on stage I like to put my headphones on and listen to my music while I stretch and I imagine my steps in my head.
What are you most looking forward to about competing in the Youth America Grand Prix in New York next April?
The thing that I'm looking forward to the most when I compete at the Finals of the Youth America Grand Prix in New York is dancing on the world stage alongside some of my ballet idols. I look up to the kids who have been there before and are achieving great things, as it reminds me that anything is possible- even when you are from a rural town in Central Queensland!
What was it like to win the Classical Ballet 9/u Event in Sydney Eisteddfod this year?
Winning the Classical Ballet (9 years) event at the Sydney Eisteddfod meant so much to me, as I was competing against the best dancers from around Australia, and I had my family all there to support me.
What do you believe you learnt about yourself through performing in Sydney Eisteddfod?
Sydney Eisteddfod is such a big competition with so many kids who are all really talented. I learnt that having the courage to step out on a different stage away from home, in front of strangers and giving it all I've got is success. I'm already counting down until Sydney Eisteddfod 2017.
Sydney Eisteddfod wishes Kenzie the best of luck as she prepares to compete in New York and cannot wait to hear of all her future successes, as there is sure to be many more!