Alice’s dancing skills are en pointe

A TALENTED dancer is going one step closer to living her dream after being accepted to a prestigious dance school.The thought of studying from 8.15am until 6pm from Monday to Friday and a class on Saturday morning normally sends shivers down children’s spines.

But Alice Stockdale cannot wait to get going after landing a place at Elmhurst Ballet School, Birmingham, even though it will only mean she can come home once every three weeks.

The 13-year-old has only been dancing at Denton-based Centre Pointe for about four years after switching from gymnastics.

Even with the current school shutdown, she will be leaving Fairfield High to switch, moving to the Midlands in mid-April.And Alice insists the thing she will miss the most, apart from proud mum Jenny, is her cats – Tinker, Acey and Loki.

“I’m very excited to be starting at Elmhurst,” said Alice, who passed auditions to get a place at the boarding school. “But I was definitely nervous before the auditions but once I got going I was fine

“At first I did gymnastics but I found that I was scared of heights, so it limited what I could do and the floor was my absolute favourite exercise.

“So I decided to start dancing and everything has blossomed from there.”

Alice hoped to have one last farewell show at Centre Pointe before leaving over the Easter holidays. However, the coronavirus outbreak put paid to that.

But even though she will be more than 80 miles from home, she will be among some familiar faces as she knows four of Elmhurst’s students from her dance school.

As well as her academic studies, Alice will do about three hours of dance a day and have Royal Academy of Dance classes on a Saturday morning.

It is not just her preferred ballet she will do, though, as pupils also do tap, jazz, contemporary and flamenco.

And while she hopes to follow in the footsteps of her dance hero, principal with the Royal Ballet Steven McRae, the lessons she learned in Denton will never be far away.

Alice added: “I definitely hope to be a dancer in the future but Centre Pointe is very important to me and where I have got today.

“I don’t know what I would have done without them, especially my best friends Freya Lane, Felicity Garnett and Jack Bunner.

“And the principal Caroline Wright has been so supportive and amazing. She has motivated me several times to keep going and feels like a second mum to me.”

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