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Evening Post
July 07, 2009

Thomas Varney, 9, Royal School of Ballet 2009

AFTER seeing the Royal Ballet’s performance of The Firebird, eight-year-old Thomas Varney knew he wanted to become a professional dancer. Now the twinkle-toed youngster from Arnold has made the first step towards achieving this dream. He has been accepted into the Royal Ballet School in Birmingham – and is the first boy from his dance school to reach this goal.

Thomas said: “I’m very excited and happy, but also relieved it’s all over. All my friends are really excited for me and I’m looking forward to starting.”

Thomas has been the only boy at the Nottingham School of Theatre Dance, in Carlton, since he started five years ago. But this has only made him more determined.

He auditioned for the Royal Ballet School two months ago. And it was a long and agonising wait for the letter saying he had been accepted. Thomas said: “I’ve been so nervous.”

Mum Cindy Varney said Thomas had spent the first three years of his life dancing everywhere.

“Once when we were on holiday, someone said we should get him a manager,” she said. “So I asked him if he wanted dance lessons. But it was when we saw The Firebird that he saw himself as a male dancer.”

Now Thomas will have classes every other Saturday at the Royal Ballet School in Birmingham. If he continues to improve, he could go on eventually to the Royal Ballet School in London.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” said Mrs Varney. “For him to have stuck at it since he was three – even though he was the only boy – shows how committed he is. I am very happy for him and it will be nice for him to interact with boys in the classes.”

Two of Thomas’ classmates, eight-year-old Angel Lydon and Emily Taylor, nine, will also be joining him.

Angel’s mother, Danielle Lydon, said: “I’m very, very excited. She’s worked really hard and we’re really proud of her. It’s such a competitive thing to get into and she’s that bit younger than the rest of them.”

Principal of the Nottingham school, Jane Moreton, said it was the first time three of her students had been accepted at the same time.

“I’m really proud and really impressed with them,” she said. “To get three in is outstanding. They’ve all be dancing together since they were three years old. It’s really lovely they are going together.”



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