Market Drayton dance school leaps into prestigious programme
A dance school near Market Drayton is celebrating six of its young students pirouetting into a prestigious ballet school's associate programme.
The six, ranging in age from seven to 12, all dance at Oak Tree Dance Studio, between Market Drayton and Loggerheads, and successfully auditioned for places on the Elmhurst Ballet School's associate programme.
Based in Birmingham, the school accepts 15 pupils for each year group onto its associate programme, and attracts hundreds of hopefuls for each.
Penny McCann, who runs Oak Tree Dance Studio, said she has had pupils accepted onto the programme in the past, but was bowled over when she was told about the lucky six this time.
They are Lucy Howarth, seven, Annabelle McCann, eight, Flora Owen-Sinclair and Elijah Brooks, both nine, and Elizabeth Boyd and Phoebe Heath, both 12.
All six hail from Market Drayton and the surrounding villages.
Penny said: "It's just amazing. Children audition from all over the country, you're not just getting children that are from the Midlands.
"There's no other school like it, they've got the best teachers. It is a full-time ballet school.
"They were very, very, very happy when they found out. They were over the moon because you just don't expect it.
"Most of them have been dancing from the age of two so it's nice to see them progressing into being such fantastic dancers and getting into such an amazing school."
From September the six dancers will visit Elmhurst every Saturday to train with the top-class teachers for two and a half hours at a time, and Penny said the experience would boost their ballet skills immensely.
"It will give them confidence, they will make friends there, it will broaden their horizons.
"I can't quite explain what a massive achievement it is.
"They work so hard and to get some recognition for their hard work is really nice."