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By Karen Evans
News & Star
Saturday, 04 July 2009

Two male ballet dancers from a Branthwaite dance studio have won places at Manchester’s Royal Ballet School.

Alexander Halsall, 9, and Saul Woodend, 10, Royal Ballet School 2009

Alexander Halsall, nine, of Portinscale, and Saul Woodend, 10, of Low Moresby, who are pupils at the Lakeland Studio of Dance, have been accepted onto the Royal Ballet School’s Junior Associate programme.

They will start their course on Sunday, September 13, attending 19 lessons during the year, and they could even be given the opportunity to audition for mid and senior associates at the Royal Ballet School’s White Lodge, on the outskirts of London.

Saul, who has been dancing at the school for 12 months, said: “I’m really pleased that I’ve got a place at the school. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Alexander, who has been dancing for two years, said: “I’m really excited. It’s going to be a brilliant experience.”

Avril Crellin, principal of the Branthwaite dance studio, said: “I’m really pleased that the boys have got a place at the academy. They both trained really hard for their places.

“Three-and-a-half thousand children auditioned for a place in Manchester earlier this year and there were only 12 places so it’s quite an achievement.

“The boys are very excited to be starting in September. They will be dancing regularly with teachers from the Royal Ballet, together with their lessons at the Lakeland Studio,” added Avril.

“Watch out Billy Elliot!”



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