Dance students manage to take first exam despite pandemic

From left, Sylviana Champion, Nico Bain, Isla Bell, Fearne Kettlewell and Matilda Calvert.

Five young dancers have taken their first exam despite having to take lessons via Zoom during the pandemic.

The children, Sylviana Champion, 5, from Askrigg, Nico Bain, from Bainbridge, Isla Bell, from Askrigg, all five, and six-year-olds Fearne Kettlewell, from Stalling Busk, and Matilda Calvert, from Bainbridge, all take lessons with Janet Seymour’s  School of Theatre Dance.

They were due to take their pre-primary exam for the Royal Academy of Dance on November 14 at The NASH in Hawes.

Sarah MacVean, from MacVean Videography, had been booked to film the exam because live exams have not been taking place due to the pandemic.

With the news of the imminent lockdown which would have meant the exam had to be cancelled, they we were able to rearrange the date to Wednesday, November 4.

The children, who all go to BAWB schools, were given the morning off school and parents rallied round to transport the children to the exam venue.

Janet said: “It was all very last minute, but the little ones did a brilliant exam.

“I was blown away by their professionalism in these unusual and tricky times — what a joy they are to teach.”

Fearne said: “I liked my ballet exam but I was scared of the camera.

“I was happy to do it with all my friends. It made me happy to do the Pirate Dance.”

Sylviana’s mum Alison ADDED: “I wasn’t sure if exams were really necessary to be honest.

“However, now I see how important it is to move on to the next stage and shows both children and parents that we are working towards something.

“The group were so thrilled to be dressed up and loved their hair and, I think, felt very grown up. Being allowed to get out of school was exciting too.”

Isla said: “I liked it, especially going out of school to do it. I also liked my hair and showed it to all my friends when I got back to school.”

Isla’s mum, Kate said: “It was lovely to see how excited Isla was to take her exam, although admitting she was was nervous the night before. Being alongside her friends and having Mrs Seymour at the venue, gave her the confidence and clear visible joy to take part.

“I love that we have such a fabulous dance school and Mrs Seymour, whom the kids adore, so local to us.”