MODEL CITIZEN: Model Emma Johnston is set to make her mark on the runways of Japan.
By JULIA ILES
Trading ballet slippers for stilettos
FORMER classical ballerina Emma Johnston has traded her tutu for high fashion.
Eighteen months ago the former full-time dancer, who trained for five years at the Adele Lewis School of Dance in Maclean, turned to modelling after an injury.
Now the 17-year-old has an impressive resume and is the face of Valley Girl clothing. She has also featured in Chic and Vogue magazines as well as Cleo's May edition.
In addition, the Sydney-based model has worked for Sportsgirl, appeared at the last two Sydney fashion weeks, various racing carnivals and Brisbane's EKKA.
Emma will soon head to Japan where she will fulfil a lucrative four-month contract.
"In Japan, most contracts are from $50,000 to $100,000, it's the weirdest thing when they say you can go to Milan and New York after that, I've never been out of Australia before," she said.
"I was worried that I would spend my 18th birthday over there alone, but my boyfriend can come over whenever he wants."
Emma said she hoped to save some of the money from her Japan earnings to buy a house.
"The money is really good, but if I earn a daily rate of $2,000, it might be my only job for the month and on top there are a lot of expenses as you constantly have to keep up with styles, get hair cuts, that kind of thing," she said.
"I miss dancing sometimes ? I was at a ballet school on the Gold Coast where I trained and did my schooling. I have danced since I was three.
"Sydney is a long way from Maclean, that's for sure, but I like the city life."
For five years before moving to the Gold Coast she travelled from Ballina to Maclean four times a week for her dance lessons.
"She was just beautiful to watch, a real dream," her former teacher, Adele Lewis, said.