Greta performer Tia Armand-Burton is about to experience the trip of a lifetime.
The 12-year-old St. Philip’s Christian College student has been selected to represent Australia at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA), held at West Hollywood this July.
Known as the Olympics for performing artists, the WCOPA is now in its 17th year and is universally cited as the one and only official global event for performers and entertainers.
Tia will be one of about 30 performing artists representing Australia, and will join contestants from more than 40 countries who are expected to participate.
The competition will run from July 12 to 21 in an Olympic-style round of heats for a variety of different competitions, with gold, silver and bronze medals presented to the top competitors.
Tia will be competing in the modelling events which will require her to walk on a catwalk and give a one-minute speech on a topic of her choice.
She will also take part in an intensive Worldstars Boot Camp, where she will be given advice from experts in the modelling field and prepped on her skills on the catwalk.
This will be Tia’s first experience modelling, but she admits that it is something that she has always wanted to do.
“I have always loved being in front of the camera and I love fashion and clothes,” Tia said.
“I have never been to America before but I have always wanted to go so I am really excited.
“Hopefully I can bring a medal back to Australia, but if I don’t hopefully I’ll get to be recognised by some of the talent scouts and go on from there.”
More than 75,000 applicants from 50 countries auditioned to participate in the event this year, which will be held in the entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood California.
Tia had to take part in a number of auditions for her spot on the Australian team and it is hoped that this year’s participants will be able to repeat the fantastic achievements from the 2012 competition, where more than 100 medals were won.
“Tia is a model and dancer who was selected by the International Entertainment Panel to represent Australia on a world stage in July 2013,” National Director, Lizette Hunt said.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime and could open many career doors for Tia and we are certain she will bring back gold for Australia!”
Tia is also looking for sponsors to support her journey to Hollywood, with an estimated cost of $12,600 needed to cover the 15 days of competition and training.
Tia and her family have organised fundraising events, with funds raised to go directly towards costs of training, costumes, accommodation and flights.
A fundraising dinner will be held at East Maitland Bowling Club on Friday, May 3 at 6.30pm.
The cost is $50 per person and will include a three course meal, drinks on arrival, entertainment and an art display by Tanya Loviz.
There will also be a lucky door prize and a raffle, with major prizes including a four-night holiday at a Rydges Hotel and Resort in Sydney for two adults and two children including daily full breakfast.
For more information on sponsorship or to book tickets for the dinner, email Tia2013@bigpond. com, or call 0400 285 755.