WAGGA ballerinas have been given the opportunity of a lifetime as they received mentoring from some of the country's top ballet dancers.
The Allegro Ballet School partnered with the Australian Ballet last year where professionals mentored two students during their visit to Wagga for a performance.
But, since its success, the national company are back for more.
"The Australian Ballet reached out to us during lockdown earlier this year and said the last program worked so well that they wanted to turn it into online lessons and expand the program," Allegro's principal Anne Reardon said.
"So we put five students forward who were accepted into the program, got lessons and mentoring from ballerinas and male dancers."
Since the first five students, a second round was taken, seeing a total of 11 students mentored by Australian Ballet dancers.
Ms Reardon said after 10 weeks away from the studio, the boost to students' morale was a welcome change of pace.
"They got to meet the ballet dancers online and hear about their lives and how they got to where they are, so it was really nice for students to be able to relate to their idols and it kept them motivated and excited about dancing," she said.
Students have started back in the classroom this week, but small differences still remain.
"Usually at the end of term we have a 'watching week' where parents come in and watch the classes, but we aren't allowed parents in the studio at the moment so we thought we'd take it online," Ms Reardon said.
"Since the Australian Ballet set up everything for online lessons last year with the initial mentoring program, we had it all ready to go for our own online classes during the studio's closure and again now for the parents to watch from home.
"So it's actually really helped, and we are looking at continuing to offer the online alternative even after COVID-19 for those who may live out of town or have gone off to boarding school."
Getting back to the studio was much needed for many of the students, though, according to Ms Reardon.
"It was a bit too much for some of our students having to do online school all day and then stay online for their dance classes, it was very demanding having their entire day online," she said.
"Usually, dance is an escape and a lot of the kids say the studio is their happy place, so we have missed it a lot and we're excited to be back."
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