Crowdfunding Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPOqqXRNbmw I am a ballet dancer in training at Ballet West in Scotland, a wonderful full-time ballet school near Oban. I am presently in my first year and have just finished an amazing tour of 'The Nutcracker' in which I danced one of the children in the first act and also as an angel in the second, (previously an understudy). We toured to theatres all over Scotland including Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh to sell out audiences, some numbered over 2000 people
I am raising funds for my second year tuition fees and also for my ongoing physiotherapy costs. I am asking you help me raise £5000 and join those who have already invested in my career. I will keep you updated in all that I do so that you can be part of my Ballet West journey to become a professional Ballet Dancer.
I have been dancing since I was three years old, and was inspired by a production of The Nutcracker, which I saw at The Dome Theatre in Morecambe. My family are work in theatre and my earliest memories are standing at the side of the stage watching and being involved in many of the shows. Last- year I gained a place at Ballet West, Scotland to start my three year training and this has been amazing. I now live at the school which nestles on the side of a mountain overlooking the most stunning views. I have had to learn how to cook with several disasters and phoned home to ask what to do next. I also had to acclimatizing to very early mornings trudging through snow to class and rehearsals.
My typical day includes ballet, pointe work, Progressive Ballet Technique, body conditioning, choreography, contemporary, repertoire, jazz, RAD Advanced 1 and ballet history lectures. Rehearsals for ‘The Nutcracker’ were added to this list during the run up to the tour. We work from Monday to Saturday with Sundays off. I try to go over to Oban on Sundays to attend Oban Baptist church and to go shopping. I also have quite a few essays to write, working on these in the evenings. I relax by watching classic Dr Who episodes and making Cosplay and lip-sync videos on TikTok, but there is not much time left for this after a very full day.
I absolutely love Ballet, contemporary and theatre and I have had incredible opportunities to dance in many ballets. These include: The English Youth Ballet’s (EYB) ‘The Nutcracker’ (2011) in Stoke-on-Trent; ‘Coppélia’ (2012) in Southport; ‘Swan Lake’ (2013) in Preston; and ‘Giselle’ (2015) in Bradford and ‘Cinderella in Hollywood’ (2018) in Nottingham dancing a Par de Quatre. I joined the Ballet West Edinburgh Associates in 2012 and danced in their productions of: ‘Swan Lake’ (twice), ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘The Nutcracker’ (three times), and ‘Rossini’, where I danced my second proper Pas de Deux, the first being EYB’s Giselle. Last year I had the privilege to take part in Akram Khan’s ‘Kadamati’, and perform alongside 300 other dancers from all across Scotland, at The Palace of Holyroodhouse. The performance was about identity, migration, and hope, with powerfully music by Nitin Sawhney and was very moving. It was incredible to dance with Akram’s Choreography in such a large scale performance.
I have taken part in Dance Workshops in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and in London with Y-Dance, Scottish Ballet, Peter Schaufuss, The Inspire Masterclasses and Royal Academy of Dance. Each summer I attended the Rambert Summer School and had the opportunity to work with incredible live musicians and exciting dance practitioners who inspire me greatly.
As well as dancing I have also acted in several plays for Whirlwind Theatre including. My favourite character was Ariel in ‘The Tempest’. I love playing scary characters because they are completely different to me. I have even appeared on TV when I was a baby in DIY SOS and they repeated the clip for few years.
The Run up to Starting Ballet West:
It was quite a whirlwind running up to my training at Ballet West including fundraising, various exciting productions including dancing as ‘Snow White’ for the Birnam Arts Ballet School, and taking my Highers. I was also interviewed by the papers and the BBC, and was even telephone interviewed from South America about my overcoming food phobias since the age of one. The article went viral globally - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-43386177. They were also interested in my food allergies, and a growth condition called MPHD (multiple pituitary hormone deficiency). I work extremely hard on my physicality, working out and cross-training. My food phobias took years to overcome, my parents having to learn more than I can remember. I now manage my eating carefully with the help of nutritionist. I have to see the physiotherapist regularly to work on my body alignment and flexibility, and I still have to visit hospitals from time to time. Becoming a ballet dancer is not a smooth ride for anyone but my condition makes me very determined to succeed.
Why I Want Your Help:
Being at Ballet West, Scotland is a ‘dream come true’, but it is very expensive. I receive £1200 from the Scottish Student Award Agency towards the fees but this is nowhere near enough. Student loans are capped at £6000 in Scotland and this covers only my accommodation costs and I have a small bursary for food. The fees for Ballet West are £10,000 per year and so I fall short by £9120 and this comes to £27,360 for the three year training. I am asking you to help me raise a total of £5,000 (Just over half for the year). All your pledges will be counted as I have chosen the ‘flexible funding’ option. If I should raise more money than that it would greatly help cover these fees. I have four weeks to do this in so please would you share this with everyone you know who might like to support me. Everyone who donates will be kept up to date with my progress, invited to join my Facebook page and Youtube channel, and those who donate the most will receive a ballet gift – last year the biggest donation received a decorated pointe shoe and I will be doing this again. For those not on social media please let me know and I will send you up-dates by e-mails.
I would like to thank everyone who donated last year towards my first year and to all my amazing dance teachers, both past and present, who inputted into my training.
Photographers: Barrie Spence, Stephen Lawson, Ryan James Davies