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WA ballerina Imogen Chapman selected as nominee for the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards

WA ballerina Imogen Chapman selected as nominee for the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards

WA ballerina Imogen Chapman has been nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in Australian ballet.

The 28-year-old is one of six young dancers in Australia selected as a nominee for the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards.

Hailing from a rural property inKelmscott, Chapman has toured Europe, Japan and performed at the Valencia Opera House in Spain before returning home to join The Australian Ballet.

Her recognition — that will see her potentially score $25,000 if crowned the Telstra Rising Star — comes after years of hard work, including leaving the comfort of her family farm for the bright lights of London at just 15.

“We went on a Christmas holiday to Britain one year and managed to arrange an audition for me at the Royal Ballet School,” Chapman told AAA.

”Much to our surprise, I was offered a full scholarship.

“In hindsight you look back and go ‘Wow, I can’t believe I did that’, there was definitely an element of growing up very fast.

“People don’t sometimes realise how much work goes into being a ballet dancer, but you are doing something that you love at the end of the day.”

There was definitely an element of growing up very fast.

But while Chapman has had the honour of dancing for some of the most prestigious companies in the world, she says it was her isolated, WA beginnings that set her up for success.

“My ballet school as a child, Eda Dance, was very simple and it didn’t even have a studio,” she said.

“But my first ballet teacher — she was really instrumental in just fuelling my love for it.”

The winner will be revealed on April 6 at the Sydney Opera House.