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Western Morning News
January 27, 2012

Two students have been selected to join the U-Dance Ensemble, the first UK-wide youth dance company.

Ben Wisken, 18, and Cameron Finnemore, 17, are among just eight young dancers in England chosen to join the prestigious group, led by choreographer Hofesh Schechter, who won the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Best Choreography (modern) in 2008.

Both Ben and Cameron have performed with the Devon County Council-funded Devon Youth Dance Company – a project that brings professional artists to work alongside young people – in regional U-Dance showcases at City Academy Bristol and the Arc Theatre in Wiltshire, and in a World Dance Day Showcase in 2010.

Cameron, from Bovey Tracey, first started dancing in his school club when he was ten, and joined Devon Youth Dance Company in 2008. Ben, from South Molton, joined the Devon Youth Dance Company when he was thirteen, having studied dance, ballet, contemporary and physical theatre at North Devon theatres from the age of nine.

Cameron said: “My ambitions in dance are to go to a dance school and from there to dance professionally within dance companies.”

Ben, meanwhile, said: “It means a lot to me to be part of something so culturally spread and to be with people who share the same passion.”

Rohanna Eade, Devon Youth Dance Company artistic director, said: “This is an outstanding achievement on the part of both boys.They’ve put a huge amount of hard work into developing themselves as dancers, and we’re all inspired by their achievement. We wish them every success with the new company, and hope that they will come back and share with us what they have learnt.”

Councillor Christine Channon, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for schools, said: “It is an incredible achievement for two Devon students from just eight nationally to be selected for this prestigious dance company. We not only have our own Billy Elliot, but two of them.”

Cameron and Ben will rehearse with U-Dance in London over the next six months before performing at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Southbank Centre in July 2012 and touring Scotland and Wales in August.

Copyright © 2012 Northcliffe Media Limited.

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