Dance students jump for joy thanks to 'inspirational' teacher
MEET the dancing queens of the future.
Thalia Major, 18, Samantha Wright, 16 and Devon Young, 15, are the latest starlets of Lesley Swaby's School of Dance to be awarded places at some of the country's top dance schools.
In September, Thalia will start at the London Theatre School; Samantha will start a musical theatre course at the Hammond Dance School in Chester and Devon will attend The Urdang Academy in London
And all say their success is down to the "inspirational" teaching of Lesley Swaby.
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Thalia has been dancing since she was two-years-old and has hopes of finding a career in commercial dance.
She said: "The audition was a bit nerve-wracking but this has been something I have wanted to do since I was a toddler. It was such a relief to get in. I feel really happy."
The main part of her course will be in commercial jazz, but she will also be expected to sing and dance ballet.
Samantha was awarded a £16,000-a-year scholarship to Hammond, following in her big sister Katie's footsteps, who also went to the school.
Katie is dancing in shows abroad and Samantha will be flying out to Rhodes, Greece, to join her for a month this summer.
She will board with a local family while studying dance, singing and acting.
She said: "I have been dancing since I was 3. I just love performing to everyone and it has always been something I wanted to do as a career. It is much more than an hobby, it is a passion."
All are students at Lesley Swaby's School of Dance, which has been the starting point for many professional dancers that come from North East Lincolnshire.
Thalia's ultimate career plan is to teach dance, inspired by Lesley's style, while Samantha says she would not have got a place at Hammond without Lesley's guidance.
Thalia said: "Lesley has really helped me.
"She supports me and has given me the opportunity to teach in the past. She is inspirational and always has time for us."
Samantha added: "I couldn't have done it without Lesley. She is so caring and passionate about what she does. She is an excellent teacher."
Samantha's mum, Joanne, is proud of her daughter – although it is not without sadness at seeing her youngest fly the nest.
She added: "It will be sad to see her leave home but I am incredibly proud of her. She has been so dedicated to dance and she works very hard. She deserves this so much."
Devon said: "I am very grateful to Lesley for all her help and support in helping me pursue my career."