Wodonga Council has helped two talented teenagers along the road to achieving their dreams in this month’s Young Achiever Scheme awards.
Rising stars of the cultural and sporting spheres, Dakota Denyer and Elyssa Cole were the recipients of the awards, which will help them to take part in important events.
Twelve-year-old Dakota is a talented dancer who’ll put financial support from the council towards the costs of competing in the national Follow Your Dreams dance competition in Adelaide in January.
Her mum, Robyn who is a dance teacher herself, says Dakota has been dancing since she was little.
“She’s been dancing around the house since she was four and still does,” Robyn said.
“Her older sister dances too so it’s in the blood, I guess.”
The competition in Adelaide will be an important step for Dakota as she’ll get to test her skills against other talented youngsters from around Australia and New Zealand, with some competitors coming from the UK.
A student at the Flying Fruit Fly Circus School, Dakota is highly skilled in multiple dance styles, including jazz ballet, contemporary and hip-hop.
She hopes to turn her passion into a career with plans to one day run her own dance studio.
The second YAS recipient in December is 15-year-old basketballer, Elyssa Cole.
Elyssa is travelling to the United States where she will play in high school tournaments with the North East Bushrangers under-18 side.
The players are visiting Indianapolis, New York and Los Angeles, attending NBA games during their travels.
Her father, Mark, says the US tour will include visits to colleges, which will be a great opportunity for Elyssa.
"Her aim is to get a basketball scholarship at a college so this trip will open up her eyes to what life is like over there and it could really inspire her,” he said.
The Catholic College Wodonga student has already been selected for Victorian state basketball programs, represented the Wodonga Wolves and the Albury Wodonga Bandits, learning from one of the greatest players of all time, Albury’s Lauren Jackson.
The US tour concludes on January 9, 2023.