TALENTED teen Elise Fowler has swapped winter in Bathurst for summer in New York as she chases her dancing dream.
Elise, 16, is in the Big Apple after securing a spot with a non-profit dance company that holds "summer intensives" where dancers can train, learn the company's repertoire and be considered for a spot with the company.
And while she's learning a lot about her chosen craft, she's also learning about life in New York - including riding its famous Subway.
Elise, who is in year 11 at Bathurst High, started dancing when she was just two years old.
"I started because my older sister danced and my mum also used to dance when she was younger," she said.
"I dance locally at The Dance Factory with Melanie Sokoleski. Most weeks I dance between five and seven days if I have a workshop or eisteddfod."
Elise took part in a selection process for the New York Dance Project in Sydney last November.
"It consisted of a day of classes with the director of the school with over 50 other dancers from all over Sydney and surrounding areas," she said.
Having been selected for the project, Elise travelled to New York recently with her mum, Renee, who has been helping her get settled in. Elise will be on her own, though, from early next week.
She will be in New York for six weeks, dancing five days a week, five hours a day.
"I am living in a student dorm by myself where I am to cook, clean and do everything for myself and I have to catch the Subway each morning and afternoon to and from dancing by myself," she said.
"Each day we do different classes ranging from normal open ballet classes to ballet history as well as contemporary, pas de deux [partnering] classes and pilates."
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Elise said she's had a mix of emotions about the experience so far.
"At first, I was very scared but excited at the same time," she said.
"I was excited to spend six weeks doing what I love all day, every day, but scared to be living by myself and being so far away from my family.
"Now that I am settled in, I am much calmer and excited for the next six weeks."
Elise hopes her experience in New York will not be the only time dancing takes her across the globe.
"In the future, I hope to be a part of a contemporary dance company somewhere overseas so that I can continue to see the world," she said.
"I hope that this experience will allow me to see what it is like to be dancing full-time as that is something that I am not used to and it will prepare me for what's to come in a few years."