Twinkle-toed pupil dances into school

EVER since he was a little boy, Simon Mayhew has had just one desire in life – to be a professional dancer.Now 17, he has taken a massive step closer to his dream, after being awarded a place at the prestigious Performers' College at Corringham, near Basildon, Essex.

EVER since he was a little boy, Simon Mayhew has had just one desire in life – to be a professional dancer.

Now 17, he has taken a massive step closer to his dream, after being awarded a place at the prestigious Performers' College at Corringham, near Basildon, Essex.

Simon, a student at Orwell High School in Felixstowe, was awarded one of only 50 places on the course at the college on the outskirts of London and was selected from 600 applicants at his audition.

At the audition, he sang A Whole New World from Aladdin, one of his favourite songs which he feels suits his voice.

Simon, who lives in Maidstone Road with his parents and his younger brother Peter and sister Ruth, has been attending dancing classes since he was four.

He spent some time with the Dreamworks Academy of Performing Arts, and currently belongs to the Hamilton School of Dancing at Trinity Methodist Church Hall, run by Yolanda Lockwood.

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He also belongs to Apple Dance in Felixstowe and participates in festivals and competitions on a regular basis, recently winning two trophies, one for best modern dance and one for most promising professional dancer,

He is also a member of the Stage Door Theatre Company and the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company. He has just played the king's son in The King and I at the Spa Pavilion and will be in the Dennis Lowe pantomime, Aladdin, as a dancer.

In addition, Simon is studying in the Felixstowe Sixth Form for A levels in drama and performing arts, and has also found time set up an after-school dance class for pupils from Year 7 to sixth form, which he runs with his friend, Rachel Batey from Deben High, who is also auditioning for Performers College.

He started with ten students, teaching them street jazz, modern dance and ballet, and after they performed an ambitious 15-minute piece choreographed by Simon at the school open evening, membership has rocketed.

He is now planning a public show of song and dance at Orwell High over two evenings next Spring/Summer, before he leaves for college. He will also be working as Blue Coat at Pontins in Pakefield during the summer holidays.

At the end of the course at Performers' College, students take part in shows at Her Majesty's Theatre in London.

After that, Simon said he would love to spend a year on a cruise ship as a backing dancer, then move on to stage and television work.

He is also interested in choreography work in the theatre, cruise ships and TV, and might one day like to set up his own dance school.

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