A rising star from Garstang School of Gymnastics has pirouetted his way to a place at a prestigious ballet school.
Brodie Donougher – Lancashire’s very own Billy Elliot– has been awarded a place at the Royal Ballet School in London and will enrol in September.
The 11-year-old, has danced all his life and is fulfilling an ambition to be taught by some of the world’s leading performers at the school.
He has been a student at Garstang School of Gymnastics for several years and its boys’ coach Fiona Catterall said: “We’re very, very proud of him. He has been with us for years and it is a fantastic achievement.”
She said Brodie still finds time to attend gym training each week in between all the auditions and ballet studies, and that the gym work had helped build up his stamina.
”His parents say the basic body conditioning is a great help with the ballet,” she added.
Brodie, from Blackpool, is currently a pupil at Layton Primary School. He said: “I was very happy when I was told I’d got in. I loved doing the audition and it was my dream to get in. When I grow up I want to be in the Royal Ballet or play Billy Elliot in the West End.
“It will be a little bit hard to go to London, but I feel good and can’t wait.”
Brodie first discovered dancing through the PrimarySTEPS programme at his school, which is run by Dance Partnership and Access at the Royal Ballet School.
PrimarySTEPS is a national junior school programme intended to provide a creative introduction to ballet for children, and Brodie first took part aged seven. Mum Ashley says she could not be prouder of her son.
“I would never have taken him to ballet, but as soon as he was picked to go on the programme we supported him,” she said.
He will begin the boarding school in September after he was successful in two auditions in Manchester and London.
“First we had to write about our favourite books, what we are reading at the moment and what our family are like,” added Brodie.
“Then we had a dance audition, there was physio after that and an interview and a tour.
“I didn’t get nervous, I just felt quite excited and a bit scared.
“I had to wait about a week before I found out, but when I did I nearly cried and I was so happy.”
His mum said: “It’s absolutely massive and we can’t get our heads around the enormity of what he has achieved.
“We are thrilled all of his hard work and commitment has come together and it’s great credit to the programme.
“I’m over the moon and couldn’t be prouder of him,” she added