GIFTED Year 13 dancer Maisie Stanger-Crosby, who describes Allanian Adam Park as one of her ‘biggest inspirations’, has been awarded a coveted place at the prestigious Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.
The 18-year-old, from Newcastle, trains for up to 15 hours a week around her A Level studies and was one of just 45 talented performers chosen from more than 400 who auditioned for the renowned London-based dance school.
“I have dreamt about a place at Rambert for as long as I can remember; I still don’t quite believe I’ve got in!” she said. “I’m so excited to see where my training will take me – my hope is that I will be a successful, touring dancer, performing to large audiences, on some of the most famous stages across the world.”
The reputation of Dame Allan’s own thriving dance department led Maisie to join the Schools in Year 7, and she has trained here with some of the region’s most esteemed choreographers, including Neville Campbell, and former Rambert dancers Jordan Robson and Mr Park.
Former pupil Mr Park secured his place at Rambert after attending Dame Allan’s Schools in 2002 – 2009, and went on to tour with the Rambert Dance Company for seven years.
Maisie said: “Being able to work with him throughout my time at Dame Allan’s has been invaluable. He helped me prepare for my audition and I’m so grateful for his support, advice and tuition; he’s been one of my biggest inspirations.”
Reacting to news of her unconditional place at Rambert, Jesmond-born dancer Mr Park said: “Maisie is an exceptionally talented and hard-working individual who, since a young age, has put in the hours to achieve a lofty goal.
“As delighted as I was to hear she was offered a place at Rambert, it came as no surprise! It's a wonderful school that will push her to become the best dancer she can possibly be.”
Maisie is studying A Level Dance, having taken ballet lessons since the age of three, and during her years here has been an integral member of both the junior and senior dance companies.
“The very reason I wanted to come to Dame Allan’s was because of the excellent reputation of its dance department, and I’ve been given the greatest opportunities to work with so many incredible choreographers,” said Maisie.
“The dance department is such an inspiring and nurturing environment for all dancers, and Mrs Turnbull and Mrs Waters have been exceptionally supportive teachers, allowing me to grow and really push myself; I could not have been happier. Telling them that I’d been offered a place at Rambert will be one of the best memories I take away with me, when I leave school.”
Maisie started ballet dancing 15 years ago at Katherine Brett Academy of Dance, in Jesmond. She has gone on to pass, with distinction, six RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) ballet grades and four vocational ballet grades. She is currently training for the final Advance 2 Ballet exam.
Maisie has also danced at Northern Ballet in Leeds and, at 15-years-old, joined the Centre for Advance Training, at Dance City, in Newcastle, to hone her contemporary dance skills. She also performs annually at The People’s Theatre, in Newcastle.
The Sixth Form student, who will also sit A Levels in Economics and Psychology this term, added: “I come from a family of singers and performers, which has really helped my dancing. They have taught me to be confident in both myself and my performances, and to push myself and work hard to achieve my dreams.”
Will Scott, Principal of Dame Allan’s Schools, said: “The Schools’ thriving dance department has helped teach and nurture some incredibly gifted and creative pupils over the years. We are delighted for Maisie, whose hard work and natural talents have secured her a place at her dream dance school.”