Kelsey Duke has just returned home to Moree after a once-in-a-lifetime experience dancing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.
The Club 2400 Moree Physie and Dance student was one of hundreds of dancers who performed during the Games’ closing ceremony on Sunday night.
Kelsey applied for the opportunity last year after seeing a post calling for dancers on the Australian Physie and Dance Association (APDA) Facebook page.
She was then one of thousands of dancers accepted to audition for a role during either the opening or closing ceremony of the Games.
After auditioning in October last year, Kelsey found out she was successful in January this year.
“I was excited,” the 19-year-old said.
“The opportunity doesn’t come around a lot.
“I had faith in myself, I believe I am a good dancer.”
Kelsey began rehearsing for the dance a month prior to the Commonwealth Games and had to attend two rehearsals at the Gold Coast in the lead-up.
She returned to Moree for one week before heading back to the Gold Coast where she spent the past week and a half rehearsing ahead of Sunday night's closing ceremony.
Kelsey was part of one of five different dance groups, with 300 people in her group alone.
Although she was dancing in front of thousands of people, Kelsey said she wasn’t nervous.
“I’m used to dancing in front of people, just not that many,” she said.
“It was really good.
“We were getting ready with our costumes and all the different groups all in one place; everyone was so nice.
“We lined up, went out, took our positions and waited for it to start.
“We were dancing around the stage where the athletes were.”
During her time on the Gold Coast Kelsey made lots of friends from all different backgrounds but said the highlight of the whole experience was seeing how things worked behind the scenes.
“Just seeing how much they put into everything, the choreographers and the bosses,” she said.
Club 2400 head teacher Pam Burley said the club is very proud of Kelsey.
“She’s an inspiration to all the girls in this club,” she said.
“Her flexibility and her ability to dance is amazing but her best strength is that she's so humble, she’s the nicest kid that you would want the young ones to aspire to be like.”