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By Barbara Jordan
Runcorn and Widnes World
Photograph by Dave Gillespie
September 12, 2010

 

A GIFTED dancer came top of his class at the world renowned Bolshoi Ballet Academy, despite the fact all his exams were in Russian. Daniel Dolan, aged 17, of Widnes, only the third British boy to join Moscow’s exclusive school in its 236-year history, is now being filmed for a TV documentary.

An anonymous benefactor, who paid his first year’s tuition fees, has agreed to continue fund him for a further three years and Halton Council has pledged £8,000 to make up the shortfall.

Daniel, of St Luke’s Crescent, said: “It’s a massive opportunity and I really want to make the most of it. Ballet is something I really enjoy and to be picked for the Bolshoi was a huge honour.

“As for learning Russian, none of my teachers spoke English, so it was a case of learning the language in order to survive. It’s a challenge and I do like it but there is a lot of grammar.”

His dad, Peter, said: “He works hard and is totally dedicated. “Just to do ballet at that level is fantastic, but to be able to speak the language and come top in every dance discipline is incredible.“Daniel is extremely grateful for all the donations he has received from local people.

“He had to buy 20 pairs of ballet shoes before he went back.”

Halton Council’s arts and community development teams have been supporting Daniel. Clr Phil Harris, board member for arts and culture, said: “Daniel is an extremely talented young man and to be attending such an exclusive ballet school he has worked very hard.

“We wanted to make sure that his dream remains a reality and that he was given the opportunity to return to the school. He is doing his family and Halton proud.”

Danlel will give free workshops to local dancers when he comes home and hopes to perform for the Mayor’s charities.

© Copyright 2010 Newsquest Media Group

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