Katarina Parlato, Miss Alex, and Daley Catip.
Katarina Parlato, Miss Alex, and Daley Catip.

Pirouette prodigy punches above weight

A young Emerald dancer has outclassed older Queensland students and won a ballet competition in Rockhampton.

Daley Catip of Emerald Academy of Dancing was the youngest, lowest-graded, and only male student in his class at the Royal Academy of Dance North Queensland Busary this month.

Yet he took home the prize at what was only his second competition, defeating other dancers from across the state in the advanced level.

"To dance at that level is quite an achievement and takes a lot of hard work and persistence," Daley's teacher Miss Alex Davis said.

"There's a push in the moment to support boys in dance, so the fact Daley won that competition is really good for the whole dance community."

Daley, who started dancing at 4 years old and is now in year 9, was glad his nerves did not interfere with his routine.

"I'm always nervous to go on stage, but as soon as I do my first move I feel more confident in myself."

"I was surprised I won."

He said in the future he would like to travel and perform in the contemporary style.

His mother Aleisha Catip said: "He's come leaps and bounds. It's was so rewarding to see Daley's hard work pay off and his confidence grow."

"For me seeing him up there doing something that's out of his comfort zone - it's nerve-racking and fantastic at the same time."

Also competing from the Emerald academy were Katarina Parlato in the advanced section, and Sophie Wass, Gracie Finch, Kyra Kent, and Stella Sampson at level one.

Kyra and Stella made the finals in their class.

Davis said every student benefited from performing.

"It was very successful, and it was a great experience for all of them," she said.

"They made me proud."

The competition was held on the weekend of September 14.