Five young soloist Midlothian dancers from the same dance school are set to represent Scotland at this year’s Dance World Cup in Italy.
The Dance World Cup is the biggest dance competition in the World, with over 6,000 dancers from 60 countries taking part. Only three dancers are selected to compete for their country in each class.
Six @Dance Scotland pupils, based at Lasswade Centre, were chosen. However, only five are free to travel to Rome in June, competing in ballet, lyrical/contemporary and national. They are Lasswade High pupils Iona Livingstone (16), Olivia Fraser (16), Aidan Steel (16) and Lauren Innes (15), and Ellie Mccormack (9) from Woodburn Primary.
Their teacher Michelle McCormack believes her dance school is the first in Midlothian to have students represent their country at the world cup.
She said: “I’m very proud of them. The hard work has paid off, but there is still lots of hard work to do.
“We had to send in a video of our students, then three judges judge the videos. They then only choose three from each category to represent Scotland.
“There are quite a lot of categories – ballet, tap, lyrical, contemporary. But solo is the hardest to get into. So our students have done so well to get chosen for the solo categories.
“For one school to have six soloists chosen is incredible. It’s definitely the hardest category to get into. And, Aidan has two solo routines that were chosen. All the girls have one. We had another student who got in for solo also but they can’t make it unfortunately.
“So this is a very huge achievement, especially as we are the first in Midlothian to have students go.
“We are all super excited for our first time at the world cup. It’s nice to get to go somewhere nice and warm as well.
“The parents are going to support the kids and obviously us teachers as well, there are four of us, all going.”
The Dance World Cup UK teams have world re-knowned patrons in Arlene Philips CBE, Wayne Sleep CBE, Lauretta Summerscales and Debbie Moore OBE.
@Dance Scotland has been a well known dance school within Midlothian for a number of years and now has former pupils enrolling their own children to be taught by Principal Stephanie May.
Michelle added: “Stephanie taught me, so the school has been going for quite a while. It was under her name but then she changed it when more people got on board.
“We are based at Lasswade Centre. We have been in Bonnyrigg for a long time, years and years. We used to dance in the masonic hall in Bonnyrigg. Then when the new school opened with its beautiful dance studios we moved in there, it’s lovely.
“We have got kids who go to Royal Ballet Associates, Scottish Ballet Associates, Morea Performing Arts Associates and Ballet West Associates. Students are also very successful in the various competitions, with students qualifying for the ISTD Janet Cram finals in London in consecutive years.”
As well as Lasswade Centre, @DanceScotland classes are also held in Loanhead Leisure Centre and Cherry Road Resource Centre.
The dance school is currently fundraising to pay for the trip, donate at www.gofundme.com/f/6m3pqa-dance-world-cup-2020.