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Audition success for ballet trio

Section:  Lockerbie and Lochmaben

A SUMMER of dance is on the cards for three little Lochmaben ballerinas.

Blair Bell, six, and Lola Callander, eight, have both successfully auditioned to join the ranks of Ballet West associate programmes.

And they will join Lola’s older sister Freya in gaining experience training alongside professionals.

Argyll-based Ballet West school, which has an outstanding reputation, was established in 1991 and has steadily developed an ambitious educational programme, As well as offering full-time higher education courses in dance, it also runs two highly successful associate programmes in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Kelly Callander, mum of Lola and Freya and Highland dance teacher of Blair, explained the programme delivers two courses in Glasgow and Edinburgh and brings together talented children who have outstanding promise and who aspire to have a career in dance.

Glasgow start at age eight and Edinburgh students come through the doors as young as six.

She said: “The ethos of both courses is to complement the teaching students receive elsewhere, while offering them the experience to train alongside professionals.

“There are the only three children from Annandale and Eskdale to have success in the associate programme and they are all from the little town of Lochmaben and all part of Symar Dance Academy.

“Wee Blair auditioned for the Edinburgh programme and was accepted at the young age of six – she is delighted with the news.”

Blair will travel to Edinburgh monthly for three-hour training sessions with the company.

She attends weekly ballet classes at Dance Works studio in Dumfries under the instruction of Rachael Bradbury.

Kelly added: “Lola auditioned for the Glasgow Associates and felt the pressure somewhat more as her older sister Freya successfully auditioned at eight and is now heading into her third year in the programme.

“Lola will travel to Glasgow monthly for five hours training.”

The Callander sisters take their ballet lessons with the Dumfries School of Dance under the instruction of Dawn Edgar.

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