The Hertfordshire Mercury
April 03, 2015
[Hertfordshire, UK] – Dancing pays for one young lad, who is celebrating securing a £30,000-a-year scholarship at a top dance academy. Spencer Vale, 12, who lives in Wheatcroft, Cheshunt, has been ballet dancing since he was three years old and was ecstatic to receive the funding.
He will board at Tring Park School of Performing Arts from September, thanks to the government-funded music and dance Scheme. The scholarships pay for talented performers from lower-income families to attend schools such as this.
The young ballet dancer, who attends Goffs School in Cheshunt, has auditioned several times for the scholarship over the past year but has only just been granted it. His mother, Kate, 42, said: “He has wanted to go to Tring Park for such a long time. He loved it and he was absolutely devastated when he got a no.
“So he was delighted when he found out he had finally got a place. We are very thankful for the scholarship because we could never afford the course fees.”
Mrs Vale, a health specialist for Weight Watchers, said it was exactly what her son needs as he has had troubles at the school he currently attends because of his non-traditional hobby. She added: “Everyone at Tring Park is very friendly and normal, and all the kids are so passionate about what they do.
“He has had a bit of trouble at school that’s been dealt with because he does ballet, but he needs to be away from that in an environment that is more accepting.”
Tring Park caters for children from Year 4 to Year 13, and claims on its website the majority of its pupils “forge successful careers in the performing arts”.
Step2Step Dance Academy, Cheshunt, has become a second home for Spencer, and Mrs Vale said he would be sad to see the back of it.
She added: “We will miss him massively, but I know that as much as I miss him, I have to put that aside because he isn’t happy where he is. It’s the start of the rest of his life.”
Spencer has appeared in a West End Production ofNanny McPhee and performed with the London Children’s Ballet.
He lives in Cheshunt with his father, Dean, 42, Mrs Vale and his sister Lucy, 18, who is training to be a dance teacher.
Mrs Vale believes that it was watching his sister dance that made him want to follow suit, and the family has supported him ever since. She said: “We let him go to ballet, thinking he would come out and want to do football or something but he has never looked back. “He’s a real boys’ boy, you would never think he was a ballet dancer, he’s naughty and cheeky.”
A spokesman for Goffs School said they were very proud of Spencer’s achievements and wished him well.
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