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Dino Fisher-Stephens, 13. is preforming withe English National Ballet 2015

By Marion Sauvebois
Swindon Advertiser
January 5, 2016


[Swindon, England] – Swindon dancer Dino Fisher-Stephens is enjoying his first taste of the limelight after being cast in two of English National Ballet’s festive shows.

The 13-year-old performing arts student was handpicked to star in the acclaimed company’s productions of The Nutcracker and Le Corsaire at the London Coliseum until the end of January.

Dino, who trained at Swindon Dance, received a scholarship to study at the prestigious Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertforshire in December 2014. He joined the school the following year and within days auditioned to dance in The Nutcracker and Le Corsaire.

“A couple of weeks after starting at Tring, I auditioned for a junior part and was successful in being cast for both ballets,” he says. “I love to perform in front of people.”

He took his first steps on the Coliseum stage as a toy soldier and party boy in The Nutcracker on December 29 and will feature in the ballet until January 10. He will then perform in Le Corsaire between January 13 and 24.

Dino’s first taste of dance was with Swindon Dance’s parents and toddlers class in 2003.

He went on to join several of its troupes and its Youth Dance Academy Urban Programme.


Copyright 2016 Newsquest (Oxfordshire & Wiltshire) Ltd


By Lisa Clark
The Plymouth Herald
April 8, 2013

Oliver Selwood has been offered a place at Tring Park School 2013[Plymouth, England] – Budding young ballet star Oliver Selwood has bagged a place at a renowned performing arts school – but may have to turn down the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The talented 14-year-old wowed chiefs at the prestigious Tring Park School of Performing Arts. But although he was offered one of a select few places at its Hertfordshire base, the teenager was denied a scholarship. That would leave his proud but desperate parents, David and Tracey, with a mammoth £30,000 a year bill.

David, who is due to leave his job as a Royal Navy submariner after 26 years, said: “He’d really love to go and I’m hoping to be in a position to pay for the second year. But I don’t know what’ll happen when I leave the Navy.

“There are only 340 pupils in the school and it has an intake of 30 each year. The academic as well as the vocational side of the school is excellent and we’d love to be able to send him.”

The family are now hoping that Plymstock School pupil Oliver can be part- sponsored for the first academic year. He is due to start in September on either the dance or performance foundation course.

Oliver currently attends Plymkids Children’s Musical Theatre School. He began Dancing at Alison Sawle’s School of Dance at the age of just nine.

This year he attended the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) senior ballet awards in London, where he competed with more than 70 other pupils – only four of whom were boys.

With Plymkids he has been in various amateur and professional productions including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Evita and Joseph at the city’s Theatre Royal.

At the Tring Park auditions Oliver beat off more than 100 skilled performers and dancers to gain a sought-after place.

Without scholarship or sponsorship the course is out of reach for many families.

Oliver had to attend another two-hour audition to see if he could win one of the very limited scholarship places. Unfortunately it was not to be and a letter was received at the end of last month saying that the school could not offer scholarship.

David said: “It’s so frustrating. We feel like you have to be at one extreme. Either you are really rich and the funding doesn’t matter, or you are struggling and you are more likely to get a scholarship because its means tested. It almost feels like we’re being punished because I have a reasonably good job, but we’re by no means rich.”

Oliver will now be placed on a reserve list for funding, but if it does not become available, it is likely he will continue his studies at Plymstock.

Copyright © 2013 Local World


By John
East Life
February 5, 2012

Two friends, two great talents and one great school – Tring Park pupils, Kaine Ward (aged 12) and Alfie Manser (aged 10) have proved that friendship and talent can sit side by side, especially when nurtured in a place like Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.

Both boys had no expectations when they auditioned for the renowned West End show Billy Elliot back in February 2010; apart from finding out what a West End audition was like. However, their talent for drama and dance was noticed with Kaine securing the title role of Billy Elliot, at the Victoria Palace Theatre while Alfie was asked by the show’s choreographer to star in The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre in the West End.

Kaine Ward, first started dancing aged 2, when encouraged by his mum, he attended a friend’s local dance school where he performed ballet, tap and modern. His talent was soon noticed and he went on to star in productions of Annie, as Sandy the dog, and in Bugsy Malone as Leroy Smith.

At aged 6, he joined a local drama group where his commitment and passion for drama and dancing continued. By the age of 10, it was obvious that he was destined for greater things and joined specialist dance and performing arts school, Tring Park as a day pupil.

In 2008, he won the School’s Paul Watson bursary, allowing him free evening and weekend dance classes for a year. Within a few weeks, he qualified for the Music and Dance Scheme (MDS) scholarship which allows him to study as a day pupil at the school, a centre of excellence both vocationally and academically.

Then in the Summer of 2011, Kaine got the call which has changed his life forever and propelled him into theatre stardom from the producers of Billy Elliot; asking him to join the cast from November 2011 in the lead role of Billy. As part of the role, Kaine has had to learn a Geordie accent and practice back flips.

Kaine comments, “I couldn’t believe it when we had the call from Billy’s producers inviting me to join the cast. My mum was even more excited than me and burst into tears when we got the news.”

Alfie Manser’s story in some ways parallels that of the character of Billy Elliot. Aged 7, he became obsessed with break-dancing which, in turn, led him to learn how to dance other disciplines such as jazz. However, as his interest and ability grew, his passion started to alienate him at school with his friends teasing him about this dancing to the point when eventually he left school to be home tutored. His mum, realising that it was more than just a hobby for Alfie, decided that he needed to be at a school where he would be supported and surrounded by similar-minded pupils and teachers. In 2009, aged 8, Alfie started at Tring Park as a day pupil in the prep department.

Finding his feet and friends at Tring Park, he soon discovered that a few friends, including Kaine, were going to the Billy Elliot auditions and thought it might be good to see how a West End audition worked so asked if he could accompany them. Encouraged by his friends and family, he ended up auditioning for Billy and although he was too young and small for the role of Billy, Peter Darling, the choreographer, asked him to join the cast of Matilda The Musical as well as invited him to the Billy Elliot summer school.

Alfie plays Nigel, Matilda’s friend, at the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden, two evenings a week, while still attending Tring Park.

Alfie comments, “It has been a rollercoaster of a ride so far. I have always loved dancing from break- dancing through to jazz. Getting into Tring Park to study my passion was just amazing and then to be noticed by Peter Darling and to be invited to join the cast of Matilda The Musical is a dream come true. “

Tring Park for Performing Arts’ Principal, Stefan Anderson, comments, “It is fantastic to see such great talent we have here at Tring, recognised by producers in the West End; one of the most vibrant theatrelands in the world. Kaine and Alfie make us proud of all the students we have here and reflect the real hard work, commitment and passion you have to have to succeed in the industry. We are looking forward to seeing them both treading the boards and enjoying a long and successful career within the performing arts.”

Tring Park for the Performing Arts School is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school, attended by a maximum of 320 pupils between the ages of 8-19.

• Tring Park offers a unique opportunity for gifted young people to specialise in Dance, Drama, Musical Theatre or Music, while gaining an excellent academic education to GCSE, BTEC and ‘A’ level.

• Housed in a former Rothschild mansion and set in beautiful grounds, the School is located in Tring.

• Figures from the Department for Schools, Children and Families for the summer exams 2010 demonstrate that the school provides an “added value” for pupils’ performance that is in the top 25% in the country.

Matilda The Musical is booking until 21 October 2012. For more information visit or call the box office on 0844 800 1110. For press enquiries about the show contact Chloe Pritchard-Gordon on I 020 7494 3665

© 2012 East Magazine


By Warwick Payne
The Romsey Advertiser
November 13, 2011

When it comes to making your name in ballet, two siblings from Winchester seemed to have ‘cracked’ it. Lowri and Rowan Shone will both take centre stage in the English National Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

The show choreographed by Wayne Eagling will be playing at the London Coliseum throughout the Christmas period.

It is the second year running that 15-year-old Lowri has been cast as Clara in Tchaikovsky’ festive favourite. But this time her 12-year-old brother Rowan will be playing the leading role of Fritz. He had a small role in the show last year, but this will be their first time dancing together in the West End limelight.

Both siblings are students at Tring Park performing arts school in Hertfordshire. A statement from the school said: “This is the first time Tring Park has ever had a brother and sister play these key roles. “Indeed it may also be the first time these roles have ever been performed by a real-life brother and sister.”

Before heading there to study, they learned their skills at the Sally Stanyard School of Dance in Bereweeke Road, Winchester.

They are not the only dancers in the Shone family, who live at the Worthy Down army base near Winchester. Siblings Rhys, 17, and Nadja, 11 are also involved as well.

The Nutcracker will be at the London Coliseum from Thursday, December 8 to Friday, December 30.

© Copyright 2011 Newsquest Media Group

Lynn News
November 01, 2011

DANCER Aaron Watson will take to the stage this Christmas as part of the English National Ballet. The 13-year-old, who comes from Terrington St Clement, will dance the parts of “Small Soldier” and “Party Boy” in The Nutcracker.

Aaron, who has already starred in the West End as Billy Elliott, said: “I’m so excited to be doing this.  The training hasn’t been too bad up till now, just two hours every Friday, but from November I’ll be rehearsing until late every night.”

He will perform the two parts in 18 shows taking place between December 8 and 20. The show will be performed in the London Coliseum in front of audiences of 2,300.

He will be joined by 14 of his fellow students at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, in Hertfordshire.

His father Nick Watson said: “We don’t get nervous for him any more because we know what he can do. It’ll be interesting to see how nervous he gets with this show compared to Billy Elliot.”

Aaron, who was a student at Springwood High School, spent two years training in dance at the Footlights Performing Arts Centre. He was then given a £100,000 scholarship for specialist school Tring Park, where he now studies.

He said: “I love it there.Everyone is passionate about the same thing so they all get on.”

It was at Tring that he was given the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker,. After a gruelling four-hour audition in which he had to showcase his acting and dancing skills, he was given the parts.

Aaron said: “It’s a good chance for me to see how a ballet company works. I’m not sure yet whether I want to specialise in ballet, musical theatre or another type of dance yet so it’s a great experience.

He has already played the high-profile role of Billy Elliot, made an appearance at the BAFTA awards and on Britain’s Got Talent.

His dad Nick said: “We’re so proud of him. We’ve had to sacrifice a lot to get him to this point but it’s been worth every penny. Footlights have to take a lot of credit for his success because they trained him in a way that has allowed him to go as far as he has.”

Aaron only discovered his talent and love of dance when it was suggested to him as a way of improving his floor routines in gymnastics.

<He said: “My dream is to dance for as long as I can. I’d really like to become a choreographer when I’m older as well.”

© 2011Johnston Publishing Ltd

Related Article:  West Norfolk boy wins title role in Billy Elliot



Debbie White
The Herts Advertiser
August 14, 2010


A St Albans boy is a pirouette closer to achieving his dream of emulating his Cuban ballet dancer idol Carlos Acosta after being accepted into a prestigious school for the performing arts.

Eleven-year-old Marvin Edwards began ballet aged five after seeing Angelina Ballerina, an animated mouse who loves to dance and dreams of becoming a famous ballerina, on television.

His proud mum, Vivienne, of Holyrood Crescent, said that at one stage, her son nearly gave up dancing as fellow pupils at a ballet school he attended were all girls.

But the former Abbey Primary School pupil persisted and ended up training at both the Marguerita Hoare School of Dancing in St Albans and in an all-boys class at the Royal Academy of Dance, Battersea Square.

Then in February this year he was accepted by Tring Park School for the Performing Arts – one of the UK’s top performing arts schools whose alumni include actresses Thandie Newton and Caroline Quentin.

He starts at the school, a former Rothschild mansion, as a boarder in September.

Vivienne, who teaches at a Harpenden school, said: “It’s a great achievement. We are very, very proud of him.”

Marvin, whose particular strength is jumping, said: “I’m really, really pleased. It’s very exciting because I enjoy doing ballet and my target in life is to be a top ballet dancer like Carlos Acosta.” He met his idol after watching him perform at Sadler’s Wells.


© 2010 Archant Regional Ltd.

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