COUNTRY BALLERINA: Parker Crooke showing off her arabesque on her family's farm in Tansey. Picture: Contributed.
COUNTRY BALLERINA: Parker Crooke showing off her arabesque on her family's farm in Tansey. Picture: Contributed.

Tansey dancer dreaming big for her town

IN HER hometown of Tansey, eight-year-old Parker Cooke proudly shows off her arabesque on her family's farm.

Parker is one of hundreds of children who have entered in the Suncorp Dream Big Challenge, with hopes of winning the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform on stage in Queensland Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.

Children all over Queensland submitted a photograph of their best arabesque (a ballet pose) in a location that reflects home.

After some much sought after rain, Parker chose to photograph her arabesque on her family's property.

"It's been hard with the dry, having to feed the animals, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else," said Parker.

"It's not a town, it's home," she added.

Parker and her mother make the journey to their local dance school twice a week in what Parker describes as "only a 40-minute drive away."

"It makes me happy and I love the end of year concert and exams," said Parker.

With over half the state affected by devastating droughts, The Suncorp Dream Big Challenge is giving youngsters from every corner of Queensland the chance to not only live their childhood dreams, but the opportunity to show Queensland the happiness dance brings to their lives.

With over four-hundred entries submitted, the Suncorp Dream Big Challenge has captured just how diverse the Queensland landscape can be; with backdrops ranging from vibrant red dirt in the outback, to clear blue coastal towns and bustling metropolitan cities.

Suncorp Executive General Manager Brand and Marketing Mim Haysom said she was thrilled to partner with Queensland Ballet to deliver the Suncorp Dream Big Challenge and was impressed by the level of talent shown by the applicants.

"Every year we see an incredible amount of creativity and passion for ballet in these entries," Mrs Haysom said.

"The program is a great way to make the arts more accessible to children and their families throughout Queensland, regardless of where they live"

To enter the competition, budding dancers had to upload the photo of their ballet pose to the campaign website and write 50 words on what makes their location special to them.

Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO judged the technical proficiency of the pose, and was blown away by the quality of entries.

"You can't help but feel a sense of pride when you read through their stories and look through the photos," Mr Li said.

"It was heartwarming to think this is the next generation of Queenslanders who are passionate about both dance and their community."

Even though Parker didn't make the list of finalists, Mr Li felt it was important to profile her as one of the inspiring entries.


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