HUNTER dancers Grace Humphris and Chloe Reynolds are marking "the end of an era and the start of a new chapter" in preparing to fly to Europe to accept scholarships at two of the world's most prestigious ballet schools.
The full-time students at the National College of Dance, Lambton, were each offered places at around seven ballet schools following their participation in the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland in February.
Grace, 16, has been dancing since she was three and will fly on August 22 to join the Dutch National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam.
She will leave her three-year program with a Bachelor of Arts. Chloe, 17, has been dancing since she was eight and will fly on August 16 to join the Hamburg Ballet School, which she will attend for two years.
"It's a bit of a relief," Grace said. "You know the school sees potential in you and you've got talent - it's recognition for all your hard work. They've said 'You're ready for us'.
"Now we start from scratch, it's a new beginning. It's the end of an era and the start of a new chapter."
Chloe said she was "excited" about the opportunity.
"Once we get over there it will be nerve-racking at first, but we'll get there.
"Our families are happy for us - they'll miss us, but they're proud of us. We can FaceTime."
Grace said the girls' parents knew they had set themselves high goals and were determined to achieve them.
"You need to step out of your comfort zone to grow and experience new things."
The girls will complete their Diploma in Dance before they leave for Europe.
Both will attend their new schools six days a week and hope to join the attached junior ballet companies.