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By Neil Docking
Lancashire Telegraph
April 21, 2010


A YOUNG ballet dancer from Blackburn dreaming of stardom has been awarded a place at a prestigious performing arts academy. Eleven-year-old Ben Slack has been honing his talents at the Zoe Taylor Dance Academy, at Shadsworth Leisure Centre, for the last four years.

And now all his hours of hard work have paid off as he has been accepted into The Hammond School, in Chester.

Thanks to his impressive showing at an audition in March, Ben, of Arran Avenue, won a Music and Dance Scheme (MDS) grant and will have the majority of his fees at the boarding school paid for him.

Mum Sharon, 44, said: “When he first found out he was over the moon, screaming and dancing around the house. Just getting a place at the school was good enough, but to get this award as well is out of this world.”

The MDS programme enables exceptionally-talented children, from the age of eight to 19, to receive academic education alongside the best music, or dance and ballet training available.

Last year, a 16-year-old ballet dancer from The Hammond School became only the third British male dancer to be accepted into the world’s most famous ballet school, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, in its 233-year history.

© Copyright 2010 Newsquest Media Group, A Gannett Company

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