Chloe Watson has been dancing since she was three, but she still gets nervous before walking out on stage.
It’s not until the lights go on and the music starts that she feels at home, forgetting her worries almost instantly.
She finishes every performance with a beaming smile on her face.
“When I was little it was about having fun with everyone. Now I like dancing because you get to express yourself,” Chloe, 11, said.
“I like to compete against everyone to see what everyone is doing, and see how I am doing.”
The Minchinbury Public School pupil recently won the overall prize for her age group at the Hollywood Bound National Dace Championships regional finals in Lismore.
That win has secured her spot at January’s national finals in Sydney, in one of the country’s premier junior dance competitions.
Korelle Murray has taught Chloe at Carol Murray Productions at Mount Druitt for almost a decade.
She has been “blown away” by Chloe’s development.
“She does everything: jazz, hip-hop, ballet, tap, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre. Everything you could think of, she does,” Ms Murray said.
“The sky is the limit for her.”
She’s a girl of many talents. Ms Murray said her student could also sing and act, but for Chloe her true passion is clear: “I want to do ballet”.
“I like to be perfect, I guess," she said. “I want to be in a ballet company one day.”
Chloe trains 12 hours per week at the studio, and practices at home in a room dedicated to dance.
Ms Murray said it took a few years to bring Chloe out of her shell, but her work ethic was rare for a dancer her age.
“It’s hard to stop her. We try to tell her to have some free time but she's such a hard worker,” she said. “Nothing phases her, and her parents are very supportive.
“It’s amazing to have a student who is always striving to get better. That’s why we teach dance, that’s why we love it.
"She's so determined. But she’s a crack up. We're very lucky to have her.”