Sixteen young dancers who trained at Gateshead College and Dance City have leaped ahead of their peers to secure places at a number of prestigious dance schools across the country, the highest success rate the college has seen.
The students will attend London based schools Rambert, The Place, LABAN, London Studio Centre and URDANG as well as Gloucestershire’s MOREA School of Performing Arts and Newcastle’s Dance City.
Connor Scott, 17, won the title of BBC Young Dancer this year, a prestigious national award featuring the country’s most outstanding young dance talent. He has now gained a place at Rambert in London, after competing against thousands of dancers from across the world to secure one of the 50 highly sought after places at the prestigious dance school.
Connor, from Blyth, honed his skills while studying a BTEC Extended Diploma in Dance at Gateshead College and through studying on Dance City’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) programme which he joined in 2011.
Dance City and Gateshead College have developed a unique partnership to deliver the highest level of professional dance training and education.
The BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Dance, delivered by Gateshead College and Dance City, provides opportunities for young students to gain experience in a range of dance specialisms, including classical ballet, contemporary dance, choreography and urban dance. The course also prepares students for a career in the performing arts industry.
Connor said: “My favourite part of the course has been the physical practice time. I’ve found it extremely challenging and it’s really given me the self-discipline I need to go on to study at Rambert.
“Gateshead College’s connection with Dance City is great. It gives us access to top class facilities and real professionals in the field.”
“I was really happy and surprised when I got into Rambert. Following in the footsteps of other student’s just shows how successful the course is, especially as places are so limited.
“My college lecturers and tutors at Dance City have been so supportive in helping me achieve my ideal career path.”
Connor will follow in the footsteps of former Gateshead College students Jonathan Blake, Jordan Robson, Joe George and John Brice who also went on to dance at Rambert.
Rambert is recognised internationally as one of the small group of first-level professional dance schools of the world and teaches its students to the highest levels, with many going on to successful careers as professional dancers in shows and events around the globe.
Judith Doyle, Principal of Gateshead College said: “It’s fantastic to see local youngsters who have the talent and flair to secure places with dance schools like Rambert, The Place and LABAN.
“We are extremely proud of all of our students who have secured places at such prominent and highly acclaimed national dance schools. They have had to work hard for this and put the training in but they have the talent, commitment and passion to succeed.”
Gateshead College is one of only two FE colleges to be recognised as outstanding this academic year. The college is exceeding national targets for its performance, with a success rate cited as ‘exceptionally high for all learners’ at 8.2% above the national average.
Anthony Baker, Artistic Director and Joint CEO said: “We are incredibly proud of the students’ success. It demonstrates what can be achieved when organisations work together for the benefit of young people in the North East.
“The unique partnership also delivers a BA (Hons) in Dance Professional Practice.. The degree gives students the opportunity to gain world-class dance training in the North East and contribute to the development of dance in the region.”
Anyone interested in studying at Gateshead College can visit www.gateshead.ac.uk/enrol to find out more about open events this summer or call 0191 490 2246. Details of dance training opportunities through Dance City’s Learning Academy are available at www.dancecity.co.uk/learningacademy.