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The Lincolnshire Echo
Photograph by Tim Cross
November 28, 2011

A schoolboy from Lincoln has been selected to train at a ballet school which has turned out stars for some of the biggest dance companies in the world. At just 16, Thomas Arnold has started studying a three-year degree in professional dance and performance at the Central School of Ballet (CSB), in London.

He was one of only 38 pupils accepted from more than 420 applicants for a place on the course. The school has seen performers go on to dance with the English National Ballet, Ballet Ireland, Ballet Boyz and the Singapore Ballet.

“I started dancing after I went with my mum to her tap class when I was four,” said Thomas, from the West Parade area of the city. I’m not quite sure what keeps me so focused, but I like the competition ballet offers. There is always something to work for, you can never be perfect. My ambition is to go on and do this professionally.

“Starting this course there is a lot of work done on training; it’s all about ironing out bad habits and starting fresh. My parents are very proud.”

Thomas spends around six hours a day doing ballet and other types of dance such as contemporary movement and Spanish styles. The other three hours of the working day – which he attends Monday to Friday as well as Saturday morning – are spent on academic work which makes up around 30 per cent of the course. To get a place he had to dance in front of the teachers, all of whom are ex-professional dancers.

Mum Jayne Arnold, a primary school teacher, said: “We’re incredibly proud of him and what he’s achieved. We don’t know where he gets it from as I’ve got no rhythm and my husband Paul has two left feet. “It’s like magic I can’t describe to watch him dance.”

Before landing the place at CSB, he had attended the Elmhurst School of Dance in Birmingham where he gained one A* and four As at GCSE.

He trained at Janet Revan’s School of Dance in Lincoln between the age of 6 and 10. Miss Revan said: “He had natural talent, he had beautiful feet and loose limbs and the right body type. Thomas was also very well focused. It’s rewarding to see him go on and do so well.”

The places at CSB are funded as a regular university place would be, with fees this year being around £3,000 and expected to rise to £9,000 in line with the increases next year.

During his final year Thomas will join the school’s touring company Ballet Central, which visits venues across the UK.

Copyright © 2011 Northcliffe Media Limited

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