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By Jeff Travis
Photograph by Allan Hutchings
The News
05 August 2009


Meet Joe and Nathan – the best pals who are taking the world of plies and pirouettes by storm.

Joe Todd and Nathan Chipps to study at Royal Ballet School 2009The boys have been selected from among hundreds of youngsters for places at the Royal Ballet School, London, one of the world’s most prestigious dance academies.

Joe Trodd, 10, and Nathan Chipps, 11, have been ballet dancing for more than six years, but both are stunned by their achievement.

‘I was surprised when I got in,’ said Nathan, of Northfield Close, Horndean. I just love performing on stage and I enjoy the competition of trying to win.’

The pair took up dancing after watching their older sisters train at Showstoppers, a dance school at Blendworth Church Hall, Blendworth.  Fed up of sitting on the sidelines, they took up tap, modern and ballet – but it was ballet that shone through.

The best friends are the only boys among a troupe of more than 60 dancers at the school.

Hundreds of hours of training allowed them to audition for the Royal Ballet. And their graceful ballet moves certainly made an impression on the judges.

Joe said: ‘It was the best class of my life when I did the audition. I’m really proud of myself.’

His mum Emily Trodd, 33, of Rowan Road, Havant, added: ‘He was very nervous to start with. But when he came out he had the biggest smile on his face and said “Mum, that was amazing”.’

A letter in the post confirmed that both had been successful – a major achievement as only one in 10 of those auditioned will get a place.

Mrs Trodd laughed: ‘I went mad. I was overjoyed because it’s such a difficult thing to get into. I am so proud.’

Joe will be training at weekends at Eastleigh’s Royal Ballet School – a prep school for the main school in London. Because he is older, Nathan will train at weekends at the national Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden.

Both have set their sights on careers as ballet dancers.

Sylvia Hubbard, who co-ordinates the associates’ programme at the school, said: ‘The long-term goal for children is a career in classical dance. Both Joe and Nathan have done very well.’


©2009 Johnston Press Digital Publishing

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