Students sashaying to success

Some of the successful pupils from Alnwick Academy of Dancing with their exam certificates. Picture by Adam Sparrow.
Some of the successful pupils from Alnwick Academy of Dancing with their exam certificates. Picture by Adam Sparrow.

Talented young dance students have been putting their best feet forward to excel in national exams.

Dozens of pupils at Alnwick Academy of Dancing were put through their paces in a range of disciplines, from classic ballet to modern theatre.

Some of the successful pupils from Alnwick Academy of Dancing with their exam certificates. Picture by Adam Sparrow.

Some of the successful pupils from Alnwick Academy of Dancing with their exam certificates. Picture by Adam Sparrow.

And between them they have collected a string of distinctions and merits.

A number of students have now graduated from the school and are studying dance full-time, including Tyler Angus, Ryan Duncan, Bronwen Stout, Caitlin Brown and Kristin Thompson.

They will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of past academy pupils Dan Hope and Jack Greaves, who are now performing in musicals – Dan is in Wicked in the West End, while Jack is starring in Starlight Express in Germany.

The academy is introducing a new timetable of classes for the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) street jazz syllabus.

Teacher Ashley Hibbitt has been travelling to London for training with choreographer and syllabus creator Samantha Vale, who will be coming to Alnwick this month to take junior workshops and senior master classes.

Students will be able to study all forms of street dance, including popping, locking, b-boying, breaking and hip-hop.

Classes are available for children aged six upwards at the Alnwick branch of the school. Ballet, modern theatre, tap and theatre jazz classes are held in the Mechanics Institute, Percy Street, Alnwick, with ballet for children aged three upwards, and modern and tap for ages four and older.

Some classes are also held in Amble and Rothbury.

Results

In the Royal Academy of Dance Ballet exams distinctions were awarded to Lexy Bee and Hannah Dawson at Grade 6, Hannah Breeze, Victoria Riley, Ellie Cameron, Georgina Rudd and Cora Drummond at Grade 5, and Emily Breeze at Grade 4.

Top of the class was Cora Drummond who achieved a staggering 92 per cent in her exam. Meanwhile, merits were achieved by Merryn Hughes, who also took her Intermediate Foundation Ballet exam, for Grade 6, Jessica Dobson, also Grade 6, Honey Hughes, Jemma Thew, Hannah Taylor and Jessica Conroy, at Grade 5, and Amabel Porter and Charlotte Mossman at Grade 4.

Caitlin Brown and Kristin Thompson also received high percentage Merits for their Advanced Foundation Ballet exam as the first pupils to take the new assessment.

There was similar success in the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing modern theatre, tap and jazz exams.

Distinctions were given in modern to Caitlin Brown and Ryan Duncan in Advanced 2, Conor Davis, Conor Knox and Ethan Knox, Grade 3, and Isobel Gray, Lana Ferguson-Wood, Lizzie Conn, Olivia Wright, Carly Hope, Tamsin Hutton-Stott, Imogen Brown, Grace Bell, Marina Swift and Freya Bridges, all Grade 1.

In tap they went to Caitlin Brown, Ryan Duncan and Kristin Thompson at Advanced 2 level, and Martha Embleton, Emily Gray and Hope Vernon at Grade 2.

Merits were achieved by Millie Redhead, Francesca Watkinson, Freya Mole and Isabella Chopping (Grade 1, modern), Antonia Johnson, Sophie Mole and Kayleigh Ramshaw (Grade 3, modern), Sophie Walker (Intermediate modern), Dhani Hooker and Ailsa Powell (Grade 3, tap), and Emma Forsyth and Philippa Weldon (Bronze, jazz).