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TWO young stars are celebrating the outstanding achievement of being picked to dance at a top ballet school.


The Royal Borough Observer
May 22, 2010


Hanno Oppernan, 12, and Jake Walker, 11, are two of only 12 boys from around the world to bag a place at the prestigious Royal Ballet School.

The boys have both been attending the Heidi Rhodes School of Dancing in Windsor for more than four years.

Headteacher at the school, Heidi Rhodes said: “It’s a phenomenal achievement, they only take 12 boys a year and I have never known two boys from one area to go in the same year. I am absolutely over the moon and will be very disappointed to see them go they are lovely boys.

“Jake lives for what he does and is ballet mad and Hanno is very serious and passionate about what he does.”

Hanno, of Windsor, was introduced to ballet by his mum at the age of six and has been spending his Saturday’s training as a junior associate of the Royal Ballet School since the age of nine.

He said: “My mum said I should try it and at the beginning I didn’t like ballet, but it grew on me as the steps became more advance.

“When I found out I got a place it was like that moment when time stands still, I was very excited and surprised. I would like to go on to the upper school and then get in to a company and dance shows.”

Jake, of Maidenhead, has been dancing since the age of four and has also been training as a junior associate at the school in Convent Garden since the age of nine.

He said: “I was very excited. I have been working really hard, it’s a life long dream. I would love to go on and dance with a company at the Royal Opera House.”

The youngsters managed to beat off stiff competition from hundreds of hopefuls and wowed the judges in two rounds of auditions. They will start at the school in Richmond Park in September.



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