Christchurch ballet dancer receives full scholarship to prestigious Joffrey Ballet School

A Christchurch ballet dancer has proven she has got what it takes to be on the world stage.

Ayiana Lo-Fo-Wong has received a full scholarship to one of the top ballet schools in the world - Joffrey Ballet School in New York.

But this success story has not been without its hardships.

Ayiana Lo-Fo-Wong, 20, has always dreamt of being a ballet dancer.

"The moment I first saw my first ballet, I was like 'mum I'm doing that'," she said.

And she has not stopped dancing since.

"I haven't really gone more than a week without it," Lo-Fo-Wong said.

Her perseverance landed her a place at the esteemed Joffrey Ballet School in New York but it came with a high price tag.

"It's about $70,000 to $80,000," her mother Jaimita de Jongh said.

A price Lo-Fo-Wong and her family couldn't afford to pay, but an opportunity she couldn't afford to miss.

"We went to Creative NZ, the Norris Scholarship, the Inspire Foundation, Dame Malvina Major and we did lots of fundraising with the local community and a Givealittle page," Jongh said.

Dollar by dollar, she got there, arriving in New York with just enough money for her first year. But she impressed the school so much, they offered her a full scholarship.

"She is doing an excellent job, never misses classes, always very responsible, improvement very much so even since September. She's done seven pirouettes on pointe, that was something we were very proud of," artistic director at Joffrey Ballet School New York Era Jouravlev said.

A feeling shared by her mum.

"We're super proud of her, she has worked so hard," she said.

Ayiana's years of practice and persistence paying off. She's now set to make her passion her profession.