Ballet dancer Harrison Lee is a step closer to his dream of turning professional.
The 17-year-old from Castle Hill is now perfecting his dance moves at The Royal Ballet School in London, England after being accepted into a three-year highly competitive upper school program.
“It is everything I had hoped it would be,” Harrison, who is halfway through the program, said.
“I am trained by amazing teachers and train with very talented dancers. I believe The Royal Ballet School nurtures and produces some of the best dancers in the world.
“I still can’t believe all that has happened and I am thankful for all the wonderful opportunities I’ve had,” Harrison added.
A standard day for Harrison includes a combination of general school subjects, followed by ballet training with world renowned teachers in the afternoon.
But studying abroad hasn’t been easy on the 2015 winner of the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship.
He said the distance between him and his family in the Sydney Hills was difficult at times.
“It has been hard and I am not sure you would say mum and dad are happy about me being so far away, but we are all adjusting,” the teen said.
“Having access to social media has helped us all adjust and deal with the distance.”
Harrison’s start in ballet is very much an unlikely tale.
At the age of six, Harrison was dragged into his sister’s first dance class by his grandmother after refusing to watch the session.
But once the music started to play, Harrison’s whole mood changed and he began tapping his feet along to the rhythmic beats.
He then marched over to the dance teacher and asked to join in on the class.
Eleven years on and Harrison hasn’t looked back.
The award-wining dancer is literally leaping bounds on the stage here in Australia and around the world.
The goal, Harrison says, is to become the principal dancer at a company so that he can dance in many lead roles.
He’s not being unrealistic following his success over the past three years which includes winning two prestigious ballet competitions including the Youth America Grand Prix and the Prix de Lausanne.
To add to his list of accolades, Harrison was recently awarded a Mayoral Commendation Award from Hills Shire Mayor, Councillor Yvonne Keane during a dance workshop and Q&A session at Jigsaw Dance Studio, in Castle Hill.
In the meantime, Harrison hopes to finish school and secure a contract with a ballet company.
“My goal is to keep working hard and intelligently in my final year and a half at school and focus on securing a contract with a professional company,” he said.
“I love living in London and training at my dream school.
“It is everything I had hoped it would be.”