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Wharfedale & Airedale Observer
May 13, 2010


He swapped football for ballet and now Lewis Turner is reaping the rewards. The ten-year-old from Guiseley only started ballet last year – but he has already been accepted onto a professional training programme which he applied for after just one term of instruction.

Lewis, who has been taking lessons at Newall Ballet School in Otley will start the training programme with the Northern Ballet in July. And the youngster has now set his sights on a career in dance.

Proud mum Julie Turner said: “ This is a tremendous achievement for Lewis having never done such a thing before. He had to go through several initial auditions culminating in an intensive four-day audition over Easter.”

She added: “He has done so well and we’re really pleased with him because he hasn’t done it for very long. He has always been interested in dance and his sister does it and has done since she was three. He is always dancing about at home and I suggested he might like to have a go. He decided to do it as well and he really likes it.”

Lewis, a Tranmere Park pupil, will have eight hours a week training with Northern Ballet as part of a foundation year with them. During that time students are not only taught ballet but are given an insight into the world of the professional dancer.

Julie, a university lecturer, said she and her husband Russell, an electrical design engineer, and daughter Rachel, 13, were all very proud of Lewis who had done so well in such a short space of time.

“From what I understand from the Northern Ballet they like to look for children who have talent they can work with – and they have taken Lewis,” she said. “Some of the boys at the audition have actually been in ballet since they were three.”

She said Lewis, who had previously done some dance with his school, had also been involved in football and athletics. “He has swapped football for ballet,” she said.

Lewis was put forward for the Northern Ballet by his dance teacher, Carol Newbould, who said she was delighted with his success. “Lewis hasn’t been dancing long and I thought he has got something special,” she said. “Obviously they saw something special as well.”

Another of Mrs Newbould’s pupils, 10-year-old Amelia Jessop, has also been taken on by Northern Ballet. Amelia, who lives in Otley has been chosen to join the junior associate ballet course, as part of which young pupils appear in professional ballets with the company.

“She has been with me since she was three, and I knew she had potential from the moment I saw her,” Mrs Newbould said. “They don’t take them until they are ten, and I have been waiting for her to be old enough.”


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  1. […] recent Wharfedale Observer story about young ballet dancer Lewis Turner struck a chord with a proud couple whose teenage son has been with The Royal Ballet School for five […]

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