[A] talented dance student has taken a flying leap towards his dream career after securing a place at the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and a full scholarship.
Thomas Acott, who studies A level dance and CTEC performing arts at Barrow Sixth Form, has wanted to be a professional dancer since he was at primary school.
The 17-year-old has passed two tough auditions for LIPA, which is one of the top specialist performing arts institutes in the country, and will take up his place on the foundation course in September. He has also now been awarded one of only two scholarships available across all the foundation subjects offered.
Thomas, of Millom, said the auditions were a mix of ballet, contemporary, jazz and commercial dance and he also had to sing to show his all-round skills.
“I was in total shock when I found out I got my place,” he said. “I’ve wanted to be a dancer since I was six and Michael Flatley was my favourite dancer.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at college, especially doing my own choreography and working with Christine the tutor and other professionals who have been in to do workshops with us. I’m nervous but excited about starting at LIPA.”
Dance tutor Christine Jamieson said less than five per cent of applicants are accepted at LIPA, which was founded by former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, and praised Thomas for having the confidence in his own ability to apply.
“The improvement Thomas has made over two years has been phenomenal,” she said. “When he first started he had raw talent but he has now developed into a very strong performer and we’re very proud of him. It’s also wonderful news that he has secured a full scholarship, I don’t know any other dancer who has achieved this and it great recognition of his talent.”