Gateshead College student Connor Scott wowed the nation on Saturday evening when he was crowned BBC Young Dancer 2015.
The 17-year-old nearly missed out on a place in the final but was one of two ‘wildcards’ announced who made up the final six in the competition, which aired live on BBC2 hosted by Zoe Ball and Darcey Bussell.
Connor, from Blyth, was the youngest entrant in all of the category finals and went on to win the whole competition.
On winning, Connor said: ““Just to share the stage with such talented dancers is one thing but to win the competition is amazing.
“Being part of this award has been an amazing experience and opportunity.
“I am very grateful for all the help I have received from my tutors who have helped get me to this stage in the process.”
As part of their performance in the Grand Final, each dancer premiered a brand new solo created for them by some of the UK’s leading choreographers. Connor performed to Get Up by Badmarsh and Shri and worked with Neville Campbell, Head of the Centre for Advanced Training at Dance City to choreograph a spectacular duet.
Connor, currently training at Dance City and Gateshead College, was invited to enter BBC Young Dancer - a new national dance award run by the BBC - during a nationwide search for talented dancers aged 16-20. Connor joined Dance City’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT), in 2011 and is also studying on the Level 3 Dance Programme delivered jointly by Dance City and Gateshead College.
The Grand Final was judged by a formidable panel of dance experts: Artistic Director of New Adventures, Choreographer and Director Matthew Bourne; Artistic Director of ZFin Malta dance ensemble Mavin Khoo; Choreographer and Director Wayne McGregor; English National Ballet Artistic Director Tamara Rojo and Choreographer Kenrick Sandy; and Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells Alistair Spalding.
Judith Doyle, Principal and CEO at Gateshead College said: “We are thrilled by Connor’s achievement. He is both an exceptional dancer and a lovely young man who has worked incredibly hard and that dedication has paid off. There is no doubt that a stunning career in dance lies ahead of him and we want to wish him all the best. It is fantastic to see such talent emerging from the very unique partnership we have with Dance City.”
Anthony Baker, Dance City Artistic Director and Joint CEO said: “We are incredibly proud of Connor for winning this prestigious award – an incredible achievement both at such a young age and such an early stage in his dance development. He’s he an exceptionally gifted and talented individual. It’s also a great testament to the high quality dance training he has received at Dance City and Gateshead College and his incredibly dedicated and talented tutors who have supported him. His dancing on the night was absolutely stunning and he is a most deserving winner. Connor is a truly unique and beautiful dancer who has an incredible career ahead of him and we couldn’t be happier for him.”