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15th Mar

Dancer Joe Called Up For London’s Royal Ballet School
Year 6 pupil Joe is a step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a professional dancer for The Royal Ballet after securing a place at London’s prestigious Royal Ballet School.
 
Auditions were held around the country and Joe, who has only been dancing for 17 months, received the rare offer of a place to start immediately - a year above - and began boarding as a Year 7 student at the school’s famous White Lodge in Surrey earlier this week.
 
“It’s happened very fast but I think I’m ready,” said Joe last week. “We’ve been getting all my training outfits together as well as bedding and things like that… there’s quite a lot to think about but I’m looking forward to it.”
 
Joe took part in 3 auditions overall: the first was practical ballet session in Manchester with final auditions held at the school, including physical and academic assessments as well as an interview and tour. 50 boys in Manchester were whittled down to 30 boys before Joe made the final 12.
 
“I had originally auditioned to start at the school in September but after the auditions, on the same day, they called my mum and asked if I could start right away. They said I was principal dancer (lead role) material and the future of British ballet,” he said.
 
“I’m happy but sad at the same time and have mixed emotions about it. I will miss my friends at CHS but London isn’t really that far away - I’ll be coming home every 3 weeks and have social media so I can stay in touch.”
 
Joe says he discovered his natural talent and love of dancing after performing during one of CHS’s summer workshops as Geppetto in Pinocchio. “Musical theatre at CHS with Mrs Fowler is probably what started it all off for me. After that I started dance lessons and it went from there,” he said.
 
As well as performing at CHS in Infant and Junior productions The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Bugsy and The Golden Ticket, Joe recently took up dancing with Centre Pointe Dance Company in Denton who, he says, gave him a good send-off.
 
Joe will take to the stage in his first performance as a Year 8 in the chorus of The Nutcracker at London’s Royal Opera House this Christmas.
 
CHS Deputy Head of the Juniors, Mr Myles Mason said: “It is an incredible achievement for Joe - we’re thrilled and very proud. It’s sad for us that he has to leave CHS but great news for him and we’re looking forward to hearing all about his future progress.”
cheadle hulme school junior pupil joe birtles-clarke smiles at the camera on the school steps after being selected to join London's Royal Ballet School
cheadle hulme school student joe dances in the centre pointe studio before being selected to join London's Royal Ballet School

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