By Russell Cook
The Ipswich Star
September 7, 2013
[Suffolk, England] – He’s destined for stardom in the world of ballet and looks set to follow in the footsteps of another top Suffolk dancer. For at 13 years of age talented Johnny Randall is already being hailed as having that special X-Factor.
He has been back at his home in Lime Tree Place, Stowmarket, for his summer break from the Royal Ballet School, in Richmond Park, London. But it hasn’t stopped him from keeping in trim as he has been training in the town at the NRG Fitness Gym and Studio, in Creeting Road, where Cara-Lea Beesley, who introduced him to the world of dance when he was seven years old, runs dance classes.
He has followed a similar route to Ipswich dancer Gary Avis, currently principal character artist and ballet master of the Royal Ballet, based at London’s Covent Garden.
For both Johnny and Gary began their ballet careers with the Co-op Juniors and the Linda Shipton School of Dancing, in Ipswich, where they honed their skills and where their dancing prowess was developed.
“It’s been great to be back home and using NRG,” said the teenager. “But I’m due back at the ballet school in the next few days.”
His dancing ability was first put on show when he was just nine when he took part in the Stowmarket Operatic and Dramatic Society’s production of Stepping Out, at the Regal.
It was his mother Marnie, who is course director for Level 2 NVQ Hairdressing at the West Suffolk College, in Bury St Edmunds, who set him out on the road to dancing. She was starring in the show and asked her young son if he wanted to take part.
“I did some tap dancing and then mum said that I was quite good so I joined The Juniors before being recommended to Linda Shipton. They were fantastic and helped me so much that I went for an audition at Covent Garden and then got a place at the Royal Ballet,” said the former Abbots Hall Primary and Stowmarket Middle School pupil.
He is now in his third year and is due to be assessed in 2015 when he hopes to elevate to the A-level of the ballet school. “If all goes well I then want to audition for as many ballet companies as possible and my dream is to be a dancer with any of the famous companies like the Bolshoi, the Paris Opera Ballet or any of the top two in America, like San Francisco and New York.”
The world is Johnny’s oyster and last Christmas he took the lead boy role of Fritz, in the Royal Opera House production of The Nutcracker, where he received rave reviews.
His mother said her son is “very settled” at the dance school. “It’s now like the school is his home but he is a natural and I really do believe he is a star of the future,” she added.
And Cara-Lea, who runs her dance school at NRG and village halls and after school clubs across the Stowmarket area, added: “He is just so focussed and if he can catch the eye of agents and get lead roles the sky is the limit for him. If he keeps up the same attitude then anything is possible.”
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