South Shields schoolgirl takes graceful step towards ballerina dream after winning scholarship to top ballet school
Rose Blair, 11, who attends St Bede’s Catholic Primary School in South Shields, part of the Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, hopes to become a professional ballerina.
And the 6th grade student took a graceful step towards realizing his dream after securing a funded seat at the Elmhurst Ballet School, an independent boarding school for classical ballet students, in September.
Rose beat thousands more to win a scholarship in Elmhurst, which only offers girls 12 places a year. She secured a spot following a face-to-face audition with other finalists in March.
She showed her extraordinary talent throughout her time at St Bede’s and performed regularly in school dance performances.
Nicole Park, Principal of St Bede’s School, said: “We have known Rose for most of her life and we know how passionate she is about being a ballerina.
“She is not only exceptionally talented, but she also works incredibly hard with both her ballet and her college studies.
“It has been a joy to see her grow into a wonderful youngster since she joined our school nursery in 2013 and it is only fitting that she performs a solo ballet during the performance of the 6th grade students in July.
“We wish her the best of luck at Elmhurst and have no doubts that one day she will perform at the Royal Opera House.
Rose’s love for ballet began in her early years and since the age of three she has competed in many local and national competitions including the British Ballet and Modern Stage Championships and the Theater Dance Council International.
She secured a place in the elite ballet school following a series of auditions and will continue her education at Elmhurst alongside a full professional course in ballet and dance.
In 2018, Rose began training at the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts, traveling between their studios in South Shields and Hartlepool.
She was selected to be part of the England squad and competed in the Dance World Cup in Barcelona and Portugal, where she won five gold medals with her team group dances and gold with his tap dance duo.
Rose said: “Getting a scholarship at Elmhurst is really my dream come true. Ever since I tried a dance class for the first time, I just knew I wanted to be a ballerina, to perform on stage.
“Although I am sad to leave home, I am delighted to start in Elmhurst. I can’t wait to make new friends and learn more about ballet and other dance techniques.