Emilia Beattie from Milton Keynes was accepted for professional dance training at one of Europe’s premier schools for professional dance training and education, Central School of Ballet (Central) in London, last autumn and will shortly complete her first year there.
Emilia, aged 17, has been dancing since she was three years old.
Selected from more than 400 applicants, Emilia was one of only 36 pupils to secure a place on this three year degree course, a BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance (accredited by the University of Kent).
Central is the only dance school in England to offer this unique ballet-focused qualification and is an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance & Drama.
Being accepted by Central School of Ballet is through challenging auditions held between October and March each year in London, Leeds, Glasgow, Japan and this year, the United States.
The process involves performing for the school’s teaching staff, all of whom are ex-professional dancers themselves. The main focus of the course is Classical Ballet supported by Contemporary Dance as an additional subject, and also includes tuition in Choreography, Spanish Dance, Pilates, Jazz Dance, Drama, Singing and Contextual Studies.
Before joining Central on the degree course Emilia was a student at Thornton College in Milton Keynes and studied dance at London’s Young Dancers Academy as well as the Rosemary Lane School of Ballet in Milton Keynes.
“I have really enjoyed my first year at Central School of Ballet - it's been hard work but fun too," Emilia said.
" We train at least six hours a day during the week and take classes on Saturday morning as well. You have to be dedicated to make it to the top of this profession and it's my dream to be a dancer at one of the world’s leading dance companies when I graduate. The training is very challenging, similar to the training of the best athletes, but we are all motivated by the rewards of performing."
Heidi Hall, director of Central and herself an alumna of the school, said: " Only the most talented and dedicated students are accepted and must be determined to succeed. A career as a professional dancer is possible for all young dancers with talent.
“Central's degree course is one of the most comprehensive dance programmes in the country, and enables our students to enjoy sustained careers in classical ballet, contemporary dance and musical theatre."