Performing arts school place for St Albans ballet boy Marvin

A St Albans boy is a pirouette closer to achieving his dream of emulating his Cuban ballet dancer idol Carlos Acosta after being accepted into a prestigious school for the performing arts.

Eleven-year-old Marvin Edwards began ballet aged five after seeing Angelina Ballerina, an animated mouse who loves to dance and dreams of becoming a famous ballerina, on television.

His proud mum, Vivienne, of Holyrood Crescent, said that at one stage, her son nearly gave up dancing as fellow pupils at a ballet school he attended were all girls.

But the former Abbey Primary School pupil persisted and ended up training at both the Marguerita Hoare School of Dancing in St Albans and in an all-boys class at the Royal Academy of Dance, Battersea Square.

Then in February this year he was accepted by Tring Park School for the Performing Arts – one of the UK’s top performing arts schools whose alumni include actresses Thandie Newton and Caroline Quentin.

Baulking at the fees which run close to �9,000 a term for boarders and about �6,000 for day pupils, Vivienne and husband Mark decided it was best for Marvin to audition again through the government’s music and dance scheme.

There were 51 applicants for four places with Marvin being accepted again but this time financially backed by government funding which covers about 90 per cent of the fees.

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He starts at the school, a former Rothschild mansion, as a boarder in September.

Vivienne, who teaches at a Harpenden school, said: “It’s a great achievement. We are very, very proud of him.”

Marvin, whose particular strength is jumping, said: “I’m really, really pleased. It’s very exciting because I enjoy doing ballet and my target in life is to be a top ballet dancer like Carlos Acosta.” He met his idol after watching him perform at Sadler’s Wells.

Vivienne said that she and Mark, a service engineer at Virgin Media, now faced the headache of paying the remainder of the school’s “substantial” fees.

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