Three dedicated Burnley College Sixth Form Centre dancers are travelling the country with one of the UK’s top emerging professional dance companies.
Olivia Walsh and Mollie Moorby, both 19, earned outstanding results in their A-Level Performing Arts programme this summer. Both are now studying for a degree in dance at Salford University.
Olivia, from Burnley, a former pupil at Unity College, plans to become a freelance dance artist and lecture in the subject she loves.
Mollie, from Langho, a former pupil at Ribblesdale High School, Clitheroe, aims to open her own dance school, using dance to support children with additional needs.
They have been joined by current Burnley College Sixth Form Centre student Ilona Browne (18), from Earby, who is a former pupil at Skipton Girls’ High School.
Ilona is currently studying A-Level dance, and has already achieved a grade A in A-Level dance, as well as grade As in AS Level English and maths and a B in physics.
All the dancers have taken part in many productions and public performances throughout their time at college as part of their studies.
They have also enjoyed educational and exciting extra-curricular activities, including trips to London; visits to professional dance groups and studios, including the world famous Pineapple Dance Studios, and been involved in college workshops hosted by visiting groups, including the acclaimed Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.
They were encouraged to audition for the year-long programme with Company Chameleon, running alongside their university studies, by college dance tutor Samantha Allen, who said: “Olivia, Mollie and Ilona have all shown outstanding commitment and passion to achieve a place on this coveted programme with Company Chameleon and it is a great step towards a successful career for them.
"There was immense competition for the limited number of places on offer and they were competing against some of the top dancers in the North of
England for a spot.
“The coming year will not be easy for them but it will certainly be rewarding. They will travel all over the country, performing at some amazing venues, take part in productions and will be working alongside professional dancers at the cutting edge of the dance movement, pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them.”
Olivia said: “As a dancer, I’ve had to push myself to my limits to reach this position and there have been times when I’ve thought I couldn’t do it but Samantha has always been there to give me individual support and advice.
"I’ve loved studying at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre, it’s given me the foundation and opportunities that I need to build my career – and I’ve made friends for life, too.”