Griffith ballerina admitted into prestigious New York ballet theatre

A talented young Griffith ballerina has been selected to join one of the world’s leading ballet companies as a junior artist. 

Ellise Pellizzer was one of 2,000 candidate from 5 continents to audition for admission to the prestigious Ajkun Ballet Theatre. She was one of just ten selected. 

Her achievement is the culmination of more than 17 years of eating, breathing and living ballet. 

“I started dancing when I was aged three.. and have had to make a lot of sacrifices. Last year I was doing more than 40 hours per week”. 

“Dance is pretty much my way of life. I love it because you can create so much with it, from just the simplest movement to more intricate, complicated ones created from exploring unexpected pathways.”

“You can depict so much through dance, portraying different perspectives on issues, events and stories old and new or just can be provided for pure enjoyment such as musical, ballets”.

“It's funny how some pieces of work can change the way you think and view the world."

Ms Pellizzer is grateful to her parents and her teachers, particularly those at Leeton-based Di Salvatore Dance Academy

Her long-time mentor Michelina Di Salvatore is not surprised by her selection. 

“I always knew she had it in her, and she could do it”. 

“She’s worked really hard and deserves it”. 

“I look upon her as one of my children… she’s been coming to me since she was four years old. The Griffith kids often stay over with me on a Friday”. 

“She started out very shy but has really blossomed into a very mature young lady”. 

Ms Di Salvatore, who has run her academy for 38 years, said Ellise’s set a great example to rural dancers. 

“There’s so much talent around here. City kids seem so cloned, by country kids seem to retain their individuality”.  

Ellise agrees, and offers this advice to Leeton and Griffith children who want to follow in her footsteps. 

“Country kids can do it, if you want it bad enough, if you’re prepared to make a sacrifice”. 

“People would always ask why I couldn’t go to parties, and my holidays would consist of dance practice”. 

Ellise has also studied a Diploma in Dance at the National College of Dance.

Ajkun Ballet Theatre described itself as an innovative ballet company with a roster of artists that embody global diversity. The theatre performs classical ballet, contemporary ballet and original choreography in New York, Australia and Europe.

A video of Ms Pellizzer in action can be seen in the online version of this article, and on You Tube.