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Warrington Guardian
April 18, 2012

A great Sankey schoolboy will be swapping the Golden Square of Warrington for the Red Square of Moscow after winning a place at one of the world’s most prestigious ballet schools. Alessandro Caggegi will be heading to the Russian capital in September to study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy – becoming only the fourth boy in the UK to be selected and the first to come from a mainstream school.

The 16-year-old said: “I started dancing at the age of five and I have been training at Kate Simmons Dance Ltd ever since. My mum was a dancer but she was more jazz and she took me to see my first ballet when I was four, and that was it from there.”

By day Alessandro, of Brentnall Close, is like any other pupil at St Gregory’s High School, but as soon as the school bell rings his focus turns to dance. “I train every day after school. I go straight from school pretty much every day, three hours a day depending on classes,” he added.

He decided to audition for the world-renowned ballet company after being mesmerised by the Bolshoi after seeing them perform. Alessandro added: “I have loved watching the Bolshoi. They did a tour when I was 10 and came to Manchester to perform Spartacus and Swan Lake. It’s been in the back of my mind and when it came to auditioning for dance schools I thought why not. Everyone at school was pretty supportive, everyone was so excited.”

Alessandro, who had to send off a video of his work to the Russian ballet company before being told he had been accepted, will start at the school after completing his GCSEs.

“At the moment I’m really excited about the move,” he said. “I have done a bit of travelling before but I don’t know what it will be like when I get there. I have just got a Russian book. You have Russian classes every day so everyone will be starting from scratch.”

Alessandro has already had success, winning national competitions for his impressive skills.

Kate Simmons, who trains Alessandro along with Tracey Moss and Gillian Hurst, said: “We are proud of him. We have a full time college here but he has the wanderlust and wants to travel. He has got very high marks all the way though his training. We wish him all the best.”

The annual fees for the Bolshoi Ballet Academy are £15,000 a year and a fundraising page has been set up from Alessandro’s website to help with the funds.

To find out more or if you can help with fundraising visit Assendro’s website.

© Copyright 2001-2012  Newsquest Media Group

Teen bound for Bolshoi Ballet Academy

by Gary Skentelbery
Warrington Worldwide
April 18, 2012

Schoolboy  Alex Caggegi , aged 16, currently in his last year at St Gregory’s Catholic High School and Warrington’s very own “Billy Elliot”, is only the fourth ever British boy to be accepted at prestigious ballet school in it’s 239 year history, the other three all coming from vocational dance schools.

He now needs to find £15,000 a year to help fund his time at the Bolshoi and also learn to speak Russian!

“I sent a DVD off to the academy showing class work and a classical and contemporary solo and was shocked when they emailed me back saying I had been offered a full three year course.”

Alex, who has been a member of the Kate Simmons Dance School for eleven years has progressed through the grades and is now working towards an Advanced 2 Cecchetti Ballet exam. As well as ballet he also does tap and jazz and plays in a brass band.

“I am really going to miss my family and friends but this is a fantastic opportunity,” said Alex, who hopes the experience will help ensure him a career with a top company.

While he would love the opportunity of appearing with the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre, he realises there is little chance, as Russian students generally fill all the available spaces.

He has already gained experience performing around the country in various shows and has won various awards, most recently the Ateneo Danza Summer School Scholarship in the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition in July, an event which attracts dancers from all over the world.

His inspiration is Mikhail Baryshnikov, a dancer with the Kirov Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet.

Alex has already had a taste of Russia while on holiday in the country to watch the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre in action. He will start his training on September 1 for the next three years. “The training will be rigorous. I will not only dance ballet but also contemporary, pas de deux, historical dance and have a one and a half hour Russian lesson every day!

“I will definitely miss my dancing school, it has given me so many great memories over the years and the quality of the training is phenomenal, but I am so excited to begin my time in Russia.”

Now Alex and his family are busy fund-raising by organising a variety of events. He is also looking for sponsors and donations which can be made at the website by clicking here.

© Copyright 2012 Warrington News

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