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Amy Glendinning
Manchester Evening News
May 20, 2010

 

A teenager who has dreamed of becoming Manchester’s answer to Billy Elliot since he was six is one step closer – after landing a £30,000 scholarship at a top ballet school.

Josh Moss, 16, of Fleet Street, Abbey Hey, Gorton, started ballet lessons 10 years ago and was the only boy in the class. His dedication has paid off – with a three-year scholarship at Manchester’s prestigious Northern Ballet School.

Josh, a pupil at Wright Robinson College, in Gorton, said: “I’m over the moon. I’ve just always wanted to dance – I’m still known as ‘Billy Elliot’ in my family. I still go to dance lessons three times a week and it’s good for taking my mind off my GCSEs.”

Josh has already had parts in The Nutcracker and Coppelia with the English Youth Ballet.

Now he has also choreographed his own piece, inspired by Rodin’s sculpture, The Thinker, to impress examiners.

It’s an amazing leap from five years ago when Josh featured in the North and East Manchester Advertiser. Then 11, he took part in a show put on by his dancing school, Capriole Academy of Dance in Audenshaw and was still learning tap and modern styles before deciding to concentrate on ballet.

Now Josh is celebrating with his family – proud parents Claire and Philip, brother Rowan, 11, and sister Ella, three.

Getting the scholarship – a government grant for promising dance students – was crucial as the family could not afford the £10,000 a year fees.

Philip, who works as a tutor at Manchester College’s Openshaw campus, said: “We’re very, very proud of him – he’s been walking on air since he found out. It’s fabulous he has been able to get the funding because it would have been nearly impossible for him to go without it.”

Mum Claire, a senior lunchtime organiser at Josh’s old primary school St Clements, Openshaw, where Rowan and Ella are still pupils, said: “I think we all cried when we found out he had got a place and the scholarship – we’re all delighted.”

Janice Metcalf, who has taught Josh at Caprioles Academy of Dance since he was six, said: “He has always been so focussed and dedicated. We are all hoping this leads to the career that he has always wanted.”

 

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