Bearsden’s Stephanie is a dancing star

A TALENTED dancer has won herself a scholarship to attend a prestigious dance school in London next summer.

Stephanie Taylor (16), a fifth year pupil at Bearsden Academy, was awarded first place in the national final of Festival4Stars on Saturday after travelling to Scarborough with her parents to take part in the contest.

To get to this stage Stephanie, from Baljaffray, made it through the Glasgow heat and the Scottish regional heat in the solo dance section for ages 13 to 20, which was previously won by George Samson who went on to win Britain’s Got Talent in 2008.

Stephanie will now be able to go to a summer school at Urdang Academy in London, where she can study classes in ballet, jazz and take part in dance repertoire or musical theatre.

She has also been asked to perform in the Festival4Stars showcase as part of The Clothes Show at the NEC in Birmingham in December.

She said: “I am so happy to win this - it was an amazing experience and I will never forget it. I am really looking forward to going to Urdang Academy and to performing at the NEC.

“I’d like to say a huge big thank you to my amazing teacher, Robert Hamilton, without whom none of this would be possible for me.”

Stephanie joined Robert Hamilton’s musical theatre company Dancepoint when she was 11 and has been trained in freestyle dance, contemporary, jazz, commercial, ballet and musical theatre and it’s her dream to become a professional dancer.

In 2009 she was a member of Robert Hamilton’s team of dancers, The Box, which entered for Festival4Stars. They were awarded first prize for the star group and went on to make the top three acts on Sky1’s Got to Dance.

Her mum Jennifer said: “Festival4Stars announced that the finalists this year were of an exceptionally high standard.

“That said, the judges were blown away with Stephanie’s performance and said she had ‘amazing flexibility and strength with great elevation’ and ‘strong, solid technique’.

“I was so proud of her to have reached this stage - to win it is just fantastic. She is dedicated to her dancing and trains almost every day.

“Her hard work and determination is definitely paying off and her dad and I couldn’t be happier for her.”

The judges this year were Tim Noble, world renowned choreographer to the stars such as Kylie Minogue, Christopher Stone, a Britain’s Got Talent finalist, David Wood, an established choreographer working extensively around the globe, Stephanie Pope, a classical ballet dancer who also had a successful west end and TV career and is currently the principal of Urdang Academy, Lynsey McDougall, teacher of jazz and musical theatre at Urdang Academy, and Matthew James Cole, who has performed in west end shows, TV performances such as Royal Variety, Paul O’Grady’s show and Children in Need,