TALENTED young dancer Louis Williamson is flying high after clinching a place at a prestigious Royal Ballet School summer school.
The nine-year-old from Cosham managed to fend off tough competition from 1,600 other young hopefuls worldwide to secure a spot at the exclusive five-day residential.
We’re over-the-moon about it. He is an incredible dancer and works so hard in all his classes.Sarah Williams, Timestep Academy of Dance & Performing Arts principal
Louis has been dancing since the age of two and is already a Royal Ballet junior associate, a scheme which nurtures the skills of a select band of the nation’s top young ballet dancers.
And today will see him travelling to White Lodge, in Richmond Park, London, to begin his course.
Louis will be tutored by some of the world’s top professional dancers, tackling gruelling training sessions which will push his endurance to the limit.
Mum Miranda, 41, said this was a huge opportunity for Louis.
‘I’m really proud of him,’ she said ‘Although he does all the styles of dance from tap and modern to jazz, ballet is something he has always excelled at.
‘I will be pretty tearful when he leaves. It’s the first time he has been away from home for such a long time. But I know it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.’
Louis was inspired to dance by his older sister, Tara, 13.
Since starting, he has won numerous competitions and was named the most promising young dancer at last year’s Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing awards.
He has also taken to the stage at Southsea’s Kings Theatre for the past three years to perform in Christmas pantomimes.
Speaking of his summer school place, the Court Lane Junior School pupil said: ‘I’m really excited to be going to White Lodge. It’s something that not many people can do.
‘When I told my friends they were really surprised that I had got in.’
Louis practises about 14 hours a week after school to perfect his technique. Sarah Williams runs Timestep Academy of Dance & Performing Arts – based in Portchester and Wymering – and has taught him since he was a toddler.
She said: ‘We’re over the moon about it. He is an incredible dancer and works so hard in all his classes.
‘He has got a real passion for dance and a brilliant stage presence.
‘I can see him going very far in the industry.’
Louis’ mum added that he had been teased by pupils at school when he first told them about being a ballet dancer.
‘We had a tough year and it was quite an upsetting time,’ she said. ‘But the school has been great letting him bring in his trophies. I think his friends are now pretty jealous – he’s getting quite a six-pack from all the training.’