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Russian dream for young dancer; Pupil is third British boy for Bolshoi in 233 years.

Byline: SAMANTHA PARKER

CHESHIRE'S answer to Billy Elliott has won a place at prestigious Russian ballet school - the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

Daniel Dolan, 16, will be only the third British male dancer to take up a place at the school in the last 233 years.

Daniel, who is currently studying for his GCSE's at the Hammond School, Chester, will start after three intensive months at New York's Juilliard, where he has been given a summer scholarship.

The teenager started dancing at the age of four when he joined the Elliot Clark dance school, in Bold Street.

Proud mother Carol said: "He first started dancing at the age of four. His older sister, Amy, danced and he was always asking to do it.

"The first time he danced he was wearing his football kit, as we just thought that it was going to be a phase.

"But it hasn't. I am so incredibly proud of everything he has done and achieved.

"When he got a scholarship to the Hammond School, in Chester, he knew that he wanted to dance as his vocation..

"He has his heart set on learning at Juilliard and applied, but was told he was too young and instead they offered him a place on the summer school.

"He applied to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy on a whim. He sent off a DVD showing him dance and they offered him a place.

"He starts on September 1 and will be there for 10 months. It will cost 1,000 euros a month and we are hoping that he will find a sponsor.

"He will have a busy year, but I know it won't be a chore for him as he will be doing something that he really loves..

"As a parent, all you ever wish is that they find something they enjoy and love. This is ballet for Daniel." Speaking from Hammond School, where he is head boy, Daniel said: "I applied on a whim really.

"In December, we had to send off applications to dance schools and I must have applied to one affiliated with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, as they asked me to apply.

"I thought that it couldn't hurt and was completely shocked when they sent me a letter of acceptance.

"To be honest, I didn't believe it at first and had to keep rereading it and then I showed it to my mum.

"I am very excited. I have worked hard but at the same time it doesn't feel like hard work as I am doing something that I really love.

"British Airways have offered me a sponsorship as part of their BA Great Britons Programme, where I can get up to 180 free flights a year.

"It will certainly help with the cost as it is incredibly expensive to train at Bolshoi.

"I am hoping to find a sponsor as without one I can't go.

"My dream is to complete my training and dance with the best companies in the world."

Guide to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Moscow THE Bolshoi Ballet Academy's full title is The Moscow State Academy of Choreography.

Located in Moscow, it is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of ballet in the world.

It is the affiliate school of the Bolshoi Ballet, one of the oldest and greatest ballet companies of the world. The Bolshoi Ballet receive the majority of its dancers from the Academy, as do most other Moscow ballet companies.

The Bolshoi's method of teaching is founded on a thorough, comprehensive, classical training curriculum that is carefully co-ordinated to the student's ability.

The current curriculum for dance students includes Ballet Technique, Pointe Work, Centre Work, Repertoire, Das de Deux, Jazz, Character Dance and Historical Dance.

The Academy offers a professional teaching staff with international teaching and performing experience..

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Daniel Dolan - has won a place at the Bolshoi Ballet School Picture: IAN COOPER/ ic230409daniel-003
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 24, 2009
Words:650
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