Abby dances way to the top

Abby Smyth (13) at the audition. INPT36-025
Abby Smyth (13) at the audition. INPT36-025

A Magheralin girl has enjoyed the summer of a lifetime - having won a coveted scholarship to a dance school in London for the second year in a row.

Abby Smyth (13), a pupil at the Lynsey Allen School of Ballet, spent a week at Pineapple Dance Studio in Covent Garden, which has produced stars like Beyonce.

Abby, who has been dancing since she was four, won last year’s scholarship - one of just two available to Northern Ireland dancers - in a knock-out competition, Destination Dance, featuring 70 talented, young hopefuls.

And this year, she was up against equally fierce competition, successfully displaying her talent in a selection of dances to clinch the scholarship again.

The Royal School Armagh pupil also spent at week at the renowned Laine Theatre Arts in Surrey - the training school of Victoria Beckham amongst others - after submitting a successful application to participate in its musical theatre week.

Although Abby does ballet, character, lyrical, modern and groups, modern is her favourite and both Pineapple and Laine Theatre specialise in producing pupils who go on to professional careers in the West End

Said Abby, “Both weeks were so good. I learnt loads. There were people there from all over the world, even from Dubai.”

Abby was accompanied by her mum and dad Miressa and Glen and the family also took in a few West End shows including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Matilda.

The teenager, who also finds time to practise for her grade four in piano, would like to make a career of dance and is already thinking about next summer when, because she is in an older age group, she will be eligible for different colleges.