Young Dales ballet dancers awarded distinctions in first exam

Back Row from left: Fausta Puskleviciene, Millie Spink, Clari Hodgson. Front row: Abigail Ellis, Kaitlyn Alderson.

Five young dancers who attend Janet Seymour’s School of Theatre Dance at The Nash in Hawes have all achieved distinction in their first ballet exam.

The girls, aged between seven and ten, have been learning ballet for a little over a year, and they all passed their primary examination with flying colours.

“I felt nervous, but also really excited,” said Abigail, aged ten.

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“And I was so pleased when Mrs Seymour told me we had all got gold medals. I love learning ballet because I get to dance to and have fun with my friends.”

“We had to practise our straight back and our points,” said Kaitlyn, also aged ten.

“We knew that the harder we tried, the higher we would score. I couldn’t believe it when Mrs Seymour told us how well we had done.”

On Saturday Janet Seymour presented the group with their gold medals and their Royal Academy of Dance certificates signed by retired ballerina and judge on the BBC reality show Strictly Come Dancing show, Darcey Bussell.

The NASH, a rural studio venue in Hawes, has recently been fitted with a sprung wooden dance floor funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund and The Big Lottery.

“The floor makes a big difference to our lessons – it’s so bouncy,”  said Abigail.

“And so comfortable to sit on and to dance on,” added Kaitlyn.

Janet Seymour, an experienced RAD-trained teacher, teaches ballet, modern dance and tap to students in Wensleydale and Swaledale.

“I am so proud of my pupils at The NASH for having the courage to take their first exam, for working so hard and for achieving such an amazing result.

“The benefits of dance are numerous, but the most rewarding thing is seeing how much they enjoy it…. it makes me feel like I have the best job in the world.

“I am so fortunate to be able to work in such a beautiful venue as The Nash.”