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by Seema Hakim
Thurrock Gazette
October 16, 2014


Joel Tokan, 9. has won a place with the RBS Junior Associate Programme 2014b[Thurrock, England] – A nine-year-old boy has danced his way to the Royal Ballet School in London. Joel Tokan, who lives with his mum and dad in Chadwell St Mary, was chosen out of 900 youngsters to take a place on the school’s junior associate programme.

Joel, who goes to Herringham Primary Academy, in St Marys Road, won a place after impressing teachers while attending the Royal Opera House’s Chance to Dance scheme, which lasted for 18 months.

He said: “I’m gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe that I got a place at first. I thought one of the others was going to get it. But I’m really happy.”

The programme started in September and sees Joel travelling to Covent Garden every Saturday morning for lessons and rehearsals.

The junior associate programme offers promising dance students between the ages of eight and 15 classical ballet training in centres across the UK, while they continue their academic studies at school.

Joel’s parents Charline and Boomy Tokan said they were delighted with the nine-year-old’s achievements.

Mrs Tokan, 47, added: “I’m very proud. He was chosen out of so many boys. He’s really enjoying it, I am extremely proud of him.”

Jillian Barker, director of learning and participation at the Royal Opera House, said: “It is wonderful to see how undiscovered talent in Thurrock is now being nurtured through this programme. It’s been up and running in South London for almost 25 years and only recently have we expanded Chance to Dance to include Thurrock.”


Copyright 2014 Newsquest, Ltd.




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