Leeds dancing star picked for national ballet school

Tim Dutson, who won a scholarship to English National Ballet School.
Tim Dutson, who won a scholarship to English National Ballet School.
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Just as Billy Elliot was never going to follow his dad into a coal mine or boxing ring, Tim Dutson knew from an early age he wouldn’t be taking to the football pitch like his older brother.

“The first time he tried on his brother’s football boots he used them for tap dancing in the kitchen,” mum Catherine explained.

Now 11 years on, the talented Bramley 16-year-old has landed a scholarship to one of the world’s top dance academies – the English National Ballet School in London.

Catherine said: “When we went down for the audition it felt just like Billy Elliot.

“There were lots of foreign students who had auditioned abroad and even the ones from this country that do ballet are mostly upper class.

“We did feel a bit like we had better not say anything, you know because of how you sound when you’re from Yorkshire.”

With fees of £17,000 a year being awarded the scholarship was life-changing.

Catherine said: “He wouldn’t have been able to go without the scholarship.”

As well as the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most eminent teachers, his success means he will no longer have to split his time between the classroom and the ballet studio.

At present, Tim, who is a pupil at Abbey Grange Academy, goes to school every morning as well as packing in more than 30 hours of training each week at the Northern Ballet Academy in Leeds.

He said: “I was over the moon to get the place and I’m just really excited about the future.

“I will be able to focus on dancing and not have to worry about school work anymore.”

His proud mum said: “It’s been a lot of commitment, you’ve got to be very disciplined but I never had to push him.”

Sharon Watson.

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