Zahra dances

Eleven-year-old Zahra Cawley is a dancer with passion and it’s beginning to take off for the Broken Hill local whose talent is beginning to make waves in Sydney.

The Silver City’s own, Ms Cawley has become the first dance student from Broken Hill to ever be selected for the prestigious New South Wales Junior Dance Ensemble and that will see her perform at the New South Wales Schools Spectacular and the State Dance Festival in the capital city later this year.

Covering almost every dance you can think of, Zahra has ambitions of working on Broadway.

“I love acro, contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre and I do a bit of song and dance as well. I love musical theatre,” Zahra tells us.

“The big dream is to be on Broadway up in New York. I would also like to open my own studio. Even for starters I’d like to run my own workshops or work as a certain style of dance teacher at someone’s dance studio.”

An avid dancer since she was just four years old, Zahra has benefited from remote learning more than most. During Covid she was learning in the family shed from dance instructors all over the country. That’s something the remarkably well-spoken youngster attributes to her improvement on the dance stage.

“When I started getting better at solo dance and independent stuff was during Covid, because everything was happening on Zoom,” Zahra said.

“I was learning from people in Sydney, Adelaide – all over the place really. When Covid stopped and everyone went back to their studios, some of my coaches still wanted to work with me. So, technically, I still have coaches from all over the country.”

Incredibly, Zahra does 18 hours of practice during these Zoom lessons every week, still in the family shed, a space she has slowly taken over from her Dad.

“It’s my shed now. It started as half and half, and I have slowly crept forward. By the end of the year, I’ll probably have the whole thing,” Zahra laughs.

All the hard work in the shed, over Zoom and during the families many trips to Adelaide and Sydney, has led to Zahra being recognised as a gifted and talented student by the New South Wales Department of Education, proud mum Kim Cawley tells us.

“It’s just so exciting. Things are happening and we are so proud,” she told the Truth.

With at least five more trips to Sydney on the horizon, Zahra’s parents are hoping to raise some money in the community and are putting the feelers out to local businesses for some sponsorship to aid with costs associated with Zahra’s dance endeavours.

“It can be a strain financially to get her to all these competitions. But by the same token, we don’t want her to miss out on all these amazing opportunities and experiences,” Ms Cawley said.

“We are so happy to support it ourselves. We aren’t looking for thousands of dollars, but maybe something that can kind of help along the way.”

Keep you’re eyes peeled for the supremely talented Zahra Cawley, and if you are a local business who is open to throwing a bit of sponsorship money the family’s way, you can contact Kim Cawley via email at [email protected]

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