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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Cumbrian youngster follows Billy Elliot on road to stardom

Move over Billy Elliot there’s a new dancer in town.

Jamie Dennison photo
Jamie Dennison

Jamie Dennison is celebrating after learning he’s danced his way into a place at one of the two most important ballet schools in Britain.

The talented 12-year-old from Bothel is “still in the clouds” after being offered a full scholarship at the prestigious Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham.

Although his family say that he was born to dance, Jamie only started dance lessons three years ago when he was nine.

And the first time the principal of Lakeland Studio of Dance and Performing Arts, Avril Crellin, saw him perform, she knew there was something special about him and pushed him to reach his full potential.

After taking lessons for just four weeks, Jamie auditioned for the Royal Ballet Association, where he was accepted onto the programme and since then has travelled to Manchester or Newcastle on a weekly basis for lessons, as well as attending the Branthwaite dance school three times a week.

“He’s always danced around the house,” said his dad, Jon. “When Miss Avril saw him, she spotted straight away that Jamie had talent.

Last November Jamie, who hopes to become a ballet choreographer, auditioned for a place at Elmhurst – affiliated to the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

After beating hundreds of other hopefuls, he found out this week that his dream was to come true.

Jon and his wife, Andrea, said they had to “pick themselves up off the floor” when they found out about their son’s success.

“We are both extremely proud of Jamie and so are his grandparents. We know he’s worked hard and is passionate about dance. It is a dream come true for him.

“He is such a beautiful dancer and was born to dance.

“Jamie is just a normal 12-year-old with a rare talent and we are so lucky that somebody spotted that talent – it wouldn’t have happened without Miss Avril.”

He will start his scholarship after the February half-term holidays.

Billy Elliot is a cult hit British drama film made in 2000, written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry. Set in northern England, it stars Jamie Bell as 11-year-old Billy, an aspiring dancer.

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