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Axminster teenager secures place at UK's top performing arts school

Axminster teenager secures place at UK's most prestigious performing arts school

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A 16-year-old student from Axminster has a lot to celebrate at the moment after recently securing a place at the UK's most prestigious performing arts school.

Katy Roy, who is currently a pupil at The Woodroffe Schoolin Lyme Regis, will be heading up to Hertfordshire this autumn to study dance at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, whose glittering alumni include Lily James (Disney's Cinderella and star of Mamma Mia 2! Here We Go Again) and Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Last Jedi and Murder on the Orient Express).

Katy said that she discovered her passion for performing at a very young age when she used to dance around the house to music all the time, so her parents took her to a local dance school.

From the age of six, she has been in multiple dance shows with her local dance schools and also had many roles in musicals and plays with her local drama club over the course of five years. When she was 8 years old, she started doing graded ballet exams with the Royal Academy of Dance at the Lyme School of Ballet.

She also trains in Exeter at Dansci Dance studios.

Talking about securing her place at Tring Park School, Katy said: "I am delighted and very excited to have gained the opportunity to train at such a fantastic school and am proud of all the hard work I put into my training in order to gain one of the very few places.

"Living in Devon has made it hard to come by opportunities in the industry as I live far away from the big cities and cannot travel frequently, so to achieve something like this is quite rare and I am proud that both my parents, dance teachers and my own hard work has paid off."

Katy's mum Rachel is equally delighted for the opportunity that Katy has. "We are very excited for Katy to be at Tring and obviously proud of what she has achieved through sheer hard work and a focused determined attitude, she deserves it.  

"If you had asked 18 months ago if I thought she would be attending the top performing arts schools I would have not believed it, but here we are, and as so much hard work and talent has gone into getting one of the few places, we felt that we should support her by making financial sacrifices so she could accept the offer." 

As well as Daisy Ridley and Lily James, Tring Park School's alumni include Jessica Brown-Findlay (Downton Abbey); director and choreographer Drew McOnie, who won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for his work on In the Heights. Drew has also directed Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom in the West End, and King Kong on Broadway; formerX Factorstar Ella Henderson; and Thandie Newton (Crash, Mission: Impossible II; Westworld;and theLine of Duty).

Tring Park School is both a day and boarding school for students aged 8 to 19. Alongside a broad academic curriculum, the school offers courses in dance, acting and musical theatre to learners up to the age of 16. Sixth Form students are able to study Acting, Musical Theatre and Commercial Music up to age 18 alongside A levels, while dancers can take a three-year course, graduating at age 19.

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About Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

  • Tring Park is one of the UK's top performing arts schools - the majority of pupils forge successful careers in the performing arts. 
  • Tring Park provides a unique community for talented young people, regardless of means or background, who have both passion and talent for dance, drama, musical theatre or commercial music. 
  • Tring Park also provides a balanced education and has an outstanding academic record: pupils regularly get into the top universities.
  • Tring Park is housed in a former Rothschild mansion in beautiful grounds in Tring, Hertfordshire, and was used as a location (a Russian ballet school) in the 2015 Avengers movie,Age of Ultronand, most recentlyJudy, the biopic of Judy Garland.