STARDOM: Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside in the arabesque position on the Gympie Rattler earlier this year. Photo: Photography by Bambi.
STARDOM: Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside in the arabesque position on the Gympie Rattler earlier this year. Photo: Photography by Bambi.

Meet the Gympie star mentored by Mao’s Last Dancer

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl shared the stage with Mao’s Last Dancer and Order of Australia recipient in an opportunity of a lifetime at the Queensland Ballet last week.

The internationally acclaimed dancer and Queensland Ballet director Li Cunxin mentored Amelia O’Sullivan, of Southside and five others on Friday November 22 as part of the Suncorp Dream Big Challenge in Brisbane.

STAR STATUS: Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside with Mao's Last Dancer and Queensland Ballet director Li Cunxin at the Queensland Ballet on Friday November 22. Photo: The Queensland Ballet
STAR STATUS: Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside with Mao's Last Dancer and Queensland Ballet director Li Cunxin at the Queensland Ballet on Friday November 22. Photo: The Queensland Ballet

In addition, Amelia was also taught the dance move of Clara, the lead character in the Nutcracker which is a performance premiering at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) until December 21.

More than 400 Queensland dancers from the age of 5-13 years participated in the challenge where they submitted a photograph of their best arabesque in a location that reflects home and Amelia was one of six finalists selected.

“Dancing puts the biggest smile on my face and brings joy to all who watch,” she said.

“I dance to the table, while brushing my hair and at the shops. My favourite thing is being onstage performing for everyone, learning new techniques and seeing the smiles on the audiences faces.”

Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside stands on her tippy toes at Southbank near the Brisbane River on Friday November 22. Photo: Peggy O'Sullivan
Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside stands on her tippy toes at Southbank near the Brisbane River on Friday November 22. Photo: Peggy O'Sullivan

Her mum Peggy O’Sullivan said they entered a photo of Amelia doing the arabesque on the Gympie Rattler which wowed the judges.

“We submitted the photo and a couple of weeks later had the phone call that created a lot of excitement in our household,” she said.

“Amelia only turned five in August and to be chosen by Suncorp and the Queensland Ballet as a finalist out of over 400 entries was an extraordinary achievement and her family and dance academy are extremely proud.”

Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside at the Queensland Ballet on Friday November 22. Photo: Peggy O'Sullivan
Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside at the Queensland Ballet on Friday November 22. Photo: Peggy O'Sullivan

Amelia started dancing at the age of three at The Dance Academy Cooloola with dance instructor Miss Michelle Weber.

“Amelia dances every day and gets enjoyment from moving her body to music, she currently participates in ballet, jazz and tap. Amelia’s favourite dance move is now an arabesque,” Mrs O’Sullivan said.

Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside with two ballerinas from the Queensland Ballet. Photo: Peggy O'Sullivan.
Amelia O'Sullivan, of Southside with two ballerinas from the Queensland Ballet. Photo: Peggy O'Sullivan.

“Amelia was very excited to be given the opportunity to be a finalist and is grateful for the experience which has further ignited her passion and goals for her future in dance.

As one of six finalists, Amelia received performance tickets to shows next year and a Queensland Ballet friends membership.

“It was an experience of a lifetime and a dream come true which she will never forget,” her mum said.