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The Sentinel
August 29, 2012

While most eight-year-old boys are busy playing toy soldiers and computer games, William Harrison has secured a place at a prestigious ballet school.

And it was only by chance that the youngster was introduced to ballet in the first place. He was taken along to the Marilyn Jones School of Dance last year by his mum to watch his sister, Isobel, aged six, perform in a show. Amazed at what he was watching, William fell in love with dancing and told his mum halfway through the show that he wanted to perform as well.

He started to take part in street dance classes at the Newcastle-based school but teachers soon spotted his talent for ballet.

William, who goes to Wincle Primary School, in Cheshire, said: “I really enjoyed seeing everyone on the stage and I wanted to do it as well. I enjoy ballet and it makes me feel like I’m in a different world when I’m dancing.”

William’s teacher put him forward for an audition at the Royal School of Ballet alongside hundreds of other budding dancers. And they were delighted when they came back and offered him a junior associate place.

It means William, who also enjoys jumping up and down on the trampoline at his family’s Rushton Spencer home, will travel to Manchester next month for the first of 28 dance sessions.

Mum Jan, a 46-year-old science teacher, said: “It’s come completely and utterly out of the blue for us. We were a bit shocked when the dance school said they were going to put him forward for an audition and we just thought we would go along and see how he got on.

“When he saw his sister on the stage he decided it was for him and he became completely and utterly fixed on it. We were delighted when we were told he had been chosen to go to the school and William was very happy too.

“Rugby is sort of the main sport in our family so this is quite an interesting journey for all of us.

“William says he loves it when he is doing ballet and it makes him feel like he’s in a different world. He has a real passion for it and it doesn’t bother him that there’s not many boys who do it.”

Marilyn Jones, aged 58, who lives in Westlands and founded the dance school, said: “William showed a great interest in dance when he came to the school. He immediately showed a lot of potential and we spotted him and told his mum that if he stuck with it, there was a chance he could go far.

“We look for physique and a general love of dance and William had them both. His family are very supportive and that’s important.”

Copyright © 2012 Northcliffe Media Limited

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