Hard work pays off for promising nine-year-old dancer

DISCIPLINE: Hard work has paid off for ballet dancer Jack Cusack who achieved two gold medals and a distinction in both grade one and two in his Royal Academy of Dance New Zealand ballet exams recently.

When Jack Cusack, 9, first started ballet he couldn’t even skip.

But hard work and discipline has paid off with the young dancer, who attends the Sharon Howells School of Dance, walking away achieving the highest exam results in his ballet class.

Jack, of Avonhead, achieved two gold medals and a distinction in both grade one and two in Royal Academy of Dance New Zealand ballet exams recently.

His mother Dale Cusack said Jack hopes to one day dance for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

She said her son struggled to skip, he went home and practised all week until he could.

Liking ballet so much, Jack then decided to study two ballet exams simultaneously.

“He was nervous at the beginning as he was the only boy in his class but the girls have warmed to him and love the opportunity of dancing with a young prince for a change,” Mrs Cusack said.

Director Sharon Howells said taking a boy into ballet is very special and Jack’s mind and heart is in dance.

“I said to his father: ‘Do you realise he may be the only boy amongst all the girls?’ But it didn’t worry him, he really wanted to dance,” she said.

She said because there is a stigma about male ballet dancers, she tells all her male dancers “if you are going to do this you have got to be good.”

Miss Howells said Jack’s dreams are out there and he wants to work hard.

“He couldn’t skip. He was uncoordinated. The next lesson he was skipping. Every lesson he improved,” she said.

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