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Teenage ballet dancer needs to raise £30,000 after securing place at at elite academy

PUBLISHED: 12:59 11 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:13 11 May 2018

Dancing at the Auden Theatre in Holt as part of the Cromer and North Norfolk Festival of Music, Dance and Speech. Pictured is Charlotte Welling performing in the Song and Dance solo. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Dancing at the Auden Theatre in Holt as part of the Cromer and North Norfolk Festival of Music, Dance and Speech. Pictured is Charlotte Welling performing in the Song and Dance solo. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

A hot shot 16-year-old ballet dancer with dreams of performing at the Royal Albert Hall has won a place at an elite performing arts academy - but needs to come up with around £30,000 to meet the school's hefty fee demands.

Charlotte Welling, from North Tuddenham near Dereham, already has a distinguished dancing pedigree.

She has competed at local festivals over the past seven years and been put forward for the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) awards twice.

But her blossoming career was taken to new heights when she heard in February that she had earned a place at the prestigious Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire starting in September.

Charlotte said: “I wasn’t nervous at my audition - just excited. They (the interviewers) were very friendly.”

She dreams of joining an international dance company when she finishes her education - performing at the Royal Albert Hall or in her favourite West End show An American in Paris.

She had to give up a lot to earn her place at the school, as she trains three times a week and has given up school trips.

To help fund her schooling, Charlotte held a pampering event which raised £550 and she set up a GoFundMe page which has so far raised a further £549.

The young performer, who is head girl at Neatherd High School, in Dereham, will be dancing at the Tuddenham 100 event on July 1 and is organising a show with guest stars at Northgate High School on July 14.

But even with the money raised, Charlotte and her family are still short of their fundraising target and mother Penny fears they may have to remortgage their house to cover the fees.

“I have contacted all sorts of grants and trusts but a lot which have previously been available have come to an end.

“Whether it be our location or Charlotte’s age we do not seem to fit in the right box for any help.

“It’s such a shame that after getting one of only about 15 places available she cannot be rewarded with some kind of help.

“She was over the moon to get the place but the money worry taints the excitement slightly.”

Those looking to help Charlotte can donate at www.uk.gofundme.com/charlottes-tring-fund

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