Saturday 27 January 2018


Reader Ava has a talent for dance - and the passion and determination to push it as far as it can go! Read her inspiring story!

Ava says:
I started dancing when I was five years old - I went to a local dance school not far from where I live and took lessons in ballet, jazz and tap. At the age of eight I decided I wanted to learn new styles of dance; I loved watching Dance Moms on TV and Maddie Ziegler was a huge idol of mine, someone I aspired to be like. I pestered my mum and she did a bit of research and found out about a dance school just a few miles away which offered more of a variety of dance styles. I went for a taster session in lyrical and was immediately hooked. I’m normally a quiet, shy girl, especially in new places, but I was so determined that I made the big decision to leave behind the comfort of my old dance school and start somewhere new. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

Since being at The Big Dance Company I have grown as as a dancer and performer and I feel I am at my most confident when I am dancing. 2017 was a fantastic year for me - I was among the 150 9-15 year olds that received a callback to  the CBBC dance show ‘Taking the Next Step’ and the only nine year old to audition in London. The junior company ‘Animate’ which I’m a member of at The Big Dance Company came first in every competition we entered, and in July I won a three year full dance scholarship.

All of this is very exciting but I know that winning isn’t actually what dance is about. Dancing for me is a feeling within me, I am a dancer above anything else. It’s about making others happy, about me being able to express my feelings and emotions and putting them into my dancing whether I’m happy, sad or angry - this is what makes me the dancer I am. A highlight of last year was taking part in a performance and dance workshop with the poorly children at Chelsea Children’s Hospital just before Christmas. To be able to put smiles on their faces and bring fun to their day was a great feeling!

I am now doing at least 12.5 hours of dance a week although at the moment it’s more like 15-16 hours a week because of extra training. There is always something we are in training for - my mum says she has crossed the whole of March out of her diary  as we have exams, our annual show, British hip hop Championships and then a group of us are going with our dance teacher and our mums to L.A. to attend a dance festival. We are going to be taught by some of the best choreographers and dancers in the world, and will be performing on a stage at Disneyland!

I’m always busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be part of such an amazing dance school and in my opinion I have the most inspiring and supportive teachers on the planet. I’m living my dream but I wouldn’t be doing any of these things if I hadn’t believed in myself enough to make the leap. If quiet little me can do it, anyone with similar passion can too!

Cathy says: 
I LOVE this story! As Ava says, believing in yourself is key to making yourself happy - it's difficult sometimes, but never give up! Have YOU got your own story to share? COMMENT BELOW...

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