“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Paulo Coelho

From a cute three-year old poppet skipping on the stage of Dalby’s Great Hall to a stunning beauty dancing on the world stage, Kirsty Sturgess is proof positive that with hard work, determination and a spoonful of karma, you can make anything happen. At just 22, this intelligent, graceful and caring young lady appears to have the world at her feet. Like many country kids, Kirsty was enrolled in tiny tots ballet. Jazz, tap, hip hop and contemporary dance followed.

As a teen, life for Kirsty became consumed with school studies and dance. Sidestepping an advanced science program at UQ, she took a gap year to enrol at Brent Street — Sydney’s top Performing Arts School, feeding her appetite for the arts.“I knew very strongly I wanted to be doing something else — to study at New York’s Broadway Dance Centre. So I set myself a budget and worked at four soulless jobs to make it happen.”

Twelve classes per week for six months followed, with top teachers including choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance. “It was tough, exhausting and physically intense, but a pivotal point for me.”

Roles in Bring it On and RENT kickstarted Kirsty’s sought after performing arts career. With just a video audition, Kirsty became female off-stage swing for seven roles in her first professional Australian production, Ghost the Musical — meaning at any point during a show she needed to be ready to jump into any of those roles to do their harmonies, to say their lines, or to step into their choreography. “It was a crazy job. The very first time I went on everything was shaking. Have I revised this enough? Am I thinking of somebody else’s plot? I had to turn my brain off, rely on muscle memory and just do it.”

Fresh from six months touring Australia with Ghost, Kirsty was snapped up as dance captain and female swing with rehearsals in London before embarking on a four-month tour of Ghost in China. The responsibility to keep the integrity of the show up to scratch alongside the director was a real boost to her short career. “I believe what you put out into the universe will come back to you. Regardless of how small a town you come from, being in the right head space or physically in the right space, you will find yourself in line with the things that you want. I have worked hard to allow things to fall into place. I’m not seeking fame but I feel full when I perform. It fills me up with whatever emotion I need at the time. It makes me happy,” says Kirsty with a grin.

Often pigeon-holed for roles as a ‘sassy black woman’ with her Haitian roots, Kirsty aspires to work on stage or screen in roles that will make an impact in some way. Watch this space. Kirsty may not be seeking fame but it may very well find her!