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Dancer can-can make it to Paris

Simone Covele, 18, is heading to Paris to dance at the Moulin Rouge for a year.
Simone Covele, 18, is heading to Paris to dance at the Moulin Rouge for a year. Sarah Harvey

YEARS of practice and a dash of good timing have helped a talented young Ipswich woman land a dream job at the spiritual home of the can-can.

Barely 18 years old, Ripley dancer Simone Covele has never experienced life away from her parents and eight siblings, but now faces the prospect of spending the next year working and living in Paris as part of the iconic Moulin Rouge stage show.

Ms Covele won the rare opportunity after joining family friends on a trip to France earlier this year and taking part in an interview.

The show's producers had a follow-up audition with the young dancer when they travelled to Australia in July and Ms Covele was subsequently offered a 12-month contract.

"They want me to go for a year, but it might go longer," Ms Covele said.

"I am probably most worried about the language barrier - and I will miss my family too."

Being part of such a large family hasn't stopped this lifelong performer from standing out.

Starting at the age of 18 months, Ms Covele has tried her hand at everything from jazz dancing to tap and even musicals.

The Westside Christian College graduate was part of Ipswich group Star Struck up to the age of 13, when she moved to a theatre and dance group in Brisbane.

"People would say that I should go for Moulin Rouge and I always thought that I would try it one day," she said.

Famous Brisbane cabaret dancer Shay Stafford was one of those who eventually convinced the Ipswich girl to have a real crack at it.

She will leave for Paris in next month, spending a month in rehearsals before beginning a busy schedule of two shows a night, six days a week.

While nervous about seeing his daughter jet off to a strange country, Malcolm Covele believes she is up to the challenge.

"She certainly has the personality for it," Mr Covele said.

"I think she will be fine."

Legendary Show

  • Moulin Rouge, French for "Red Mill", was built in Paris 1889 - the same year as the Eiffel Tower
  • It was the inspiration for the Baz Luhrmann film, of the same name, in 2001
  • Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Liza Minelli and Ray Charles have performed there

Topics:  can-can, moulin rouge, paris, simone covele


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