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Kesgrave teenager joins top London dance school

Olivia Boyd, 17, from Kesgrave has been accepted to London’s prestigious Central School of Ballet. Photo: Central School of Ballet

Olivia Boyd, 17, from Kesgrave has been accepted to London’s prestigious Central School of Ballet. Photo: Central School of Ballet

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A young dancer from Kesgrave has won a place at London’s prestigious Central School of Ballet.

Ballet Central's third year graduates visit The Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, tonight. Photo: Bill Cooper Ballet Central's third year graduates visit The Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, tonight. Photo: Bill Cooper

Olivia Boyd. 17, was one of only 38 people out of 400 applicants to get a place on the three-year BA (Hons) in professional dance and performance course.

“You have to be dedicated to make it to the top of this profession and it’s my dream to be a dancer at one of the world’s leading dance companies when I graduate,” said the former Kesgrave High School student.

Central is one of Europe’s premier schools for professional dance training and education. Auditions involve performing for the teaching staff, all of whom are ex-professional dancers. Only the most talented and dedicated are accepted.

The main focus of the course is classical ballet supported by contemporary dance as an additional subject. It also includes tuition in choreography, Spanish dance, pilates, jazz dance, drama, dalcroze eurhythmics, singing and contextual studies.

Central is one of Europe�s premier schools for professional dance training and education. Photo: Bill Cooper Central is one of Europe�s premier schools for professional dance training and education. Photo: Bill Cooper

“I’m really enjoying my first year. It’s been hard work but fun too. We train at least six hours a day during the week and take classes on Saturday morning as well,” added Olivia, who has been dancing since she was two-and-a-half.

She previously studied dance at the Angela Rowe School of Dance in Ipswich and has also performed as a soloist with the English Youth Ballet.

“The training is very challenging, similar to the training of the best athletes, but we are all motivated by the rewards of performing.”

During her final year Olivia will join the school’s touring company Ballet Central which visits more than a score of venues up and down the country.

The training is very challenging, similar to the training of the best athletes, says Olivia; adding they are all motivated by the rewards of performing. Photo: Contributed The training is very challenging, similar to the training of the best athletes, says Olivia; adding they are all motivated by the rewards of performing. Photo: Contributed

Heidi Hall, director of Central and herself an alumna of the school, said: “Performing in a range of theatres and in different cities means Ballet Central continues to be a springboard for hundreds of dancers into the top international dance companies.”

Recent graduates are currently employed with the likes of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, English National Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Vienna Festival Ballet Atlantic City Ballet and many more.

Students typically join the school aged 16 after their GCSEs. By this stage many will have been dancing since primary school.

“Students must be determined to succeed. A career in ballet is possible for all young dancers with talent and no longer an elitist profession, 25% of Central students are given some kind of financial assistance through the school to allow them to complete their tuition here. We’ve a long history of accepting students from a diverse range of social and economic backgrounds,” she added.

“Central’s degree course is one of the most comprehensive dance programmes in the country and enables our students to enjoy sustained careers in classical ballet, contemporary dance and musical theatre.”

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