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Scunthorpe Telegraph
July 17, 2012

A student hoping to follow in the footsteps of Billy Elliot has gained a place at a class linked to the country’s top ballet school. Nine-year-old Shea Linley, of Scunthorpe, is already seen as one of the best young dancers in North Lincolnshire. Now, the Kimberley School of Dance pupil has secured a place at the Royal Ballet School’s Junior Associate Class in Leeds. And although Shea is still too young to go to the world famous Royal Ballet School in London, he is hoping the lessons will enable him to eventually make it to the top.

Shea has seen the award-winning film Billy Elliot, about a young northern boy who gets accepted to the Royal Ballet School. And, after less than two years in dance, he is now ready to emulate his hero.

He said: “I really enjoy all different types of dance classes. I do modern, tap, ballet and street dance. When I am older, I want to be an actor in the West End. I am really excited about joining the Royal Ballet.”

Ian Linley, Shea’s dad, said he was proud of his son.

He said: “He has been doing dance classes for less than two years.

“His dancing is brilliant and I am really impressed with what he does.”

Of the 432 young dancers who auditioned for the elite class, which is the only one of its kind in the country, Shea was one of only 15 students selected. He will begin lessons in September and will make the journey to West Yorkshire every Saturday for a two-hour 15 minute class.

The course is designed to introduce pupils to the Royal Ballet School’s system of training and help children who want a career in dance.

Shea’s dance school colleague Sophie Hope, 12, knows all about the class in Leeds, having been a member there for three years. She is now preparing to join the Northern Ballet Intermediate Associate Class as one of 25 to be selected from the 400 who auditioned.

Sophie said: “I take part in tap, street, Greek, lyrical, Irish, modern and ballet classes, as well as many more different ones. I pick up steps quickly, so I find learning routines easy.

“I am very excited about starting at a new ballet school.

“I dance nearly every day and absolutely love it.

“When I am older, I would like to be a backing dancer on a cruise ship.”

Kim Gribben, principal of Kimberley School of Dance, said: “It is a credit to their hard work. Both students are very hard working and dedicated. I think they will both go far as they have a good attitude.”

Copyright © 2012 Northcliffe Media Limited.

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