Redhill student wins coveted dance degree place

A 17-year-old student from Redhill has won a place to train at one of Europe’s premier schools for dance training and education.

Daisy Mackey has been accepted for professional dance training at the Central School of Ballet (CSB) in London.

Daisy, who has been dancing since she was five, has completed her first term at CSB, one of only 39 pupils accepted for a place on the three-year BA (Honours) in Professional Dance and Performance degree course.

CSB is the only dance school in the UK to offer the qualification.

Daisy was picked from amongst 350 applicants who applied this year. The process involved her performing for the school’s teaching staff, all of them ex-professional dancers.

Daisy gained her early enthusiasm for dance at the Liss Forest Ballet School in Petersfield, Hampshire, and went on to train at the British Ballet Academy in London’s Barnes.

She then studied at the Legat School of Dance in Hailsham, East Sussex, part of St Bede’s, where she gained eight GCSEs alongside her dance training - five of which were A* grade.

Daisy said: “I've now completed the first term at CSB and it's been hard work, but fun too.”

She said: “We train at least six hours a day during the week and also take classes on Saturday mornings.

“You have to be dedicated to make it to the top of this profession, but it's my dream to be a dancer at one of the leading ballet companies when I graduate.

“The training is very challenging, similar to the training of the best athletes, but we are all motivated by the rewards of performing."

Her course's main focus is Classical Ballet, supported by Contemporary Dance as an additional subject, and also includes tuition in Choreography, Spanish Dance, Pilates, Jazz Dance and Drama.

During her final year, Daisy will join the school's touring company, Ballet Central.

Sara Matthews, director of CSB, said: “We are the only vocational ballet school able to offer our students an Honours Degree and this level of touring experience. “Ballet Central continues to be a springboard for hundreds of dancers into the top international dance companies. “Dancers live to perform, so touring is a much anticipated part of our three-year curriculum.”

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