Highgate ballerina pirouettes her way into top scholarship

A Highgate ballerina says she is ‘ecstatic’ after pirouetting her way into a sought after scholarship at the English National Ballet School.

Maddy Squire, 16, will slip on her ballet pumps and take up the coveted place alongside many of the country’s finest dancers next week.

The former Fortismere School student, who took up ballet when she was just three-years-old, said: “When I first found out I was so happy.

“I was in a PE lesson at school and my friend was holding my phone and she got a text from my mum and read it out. I could barely believe it I was so happy.”

But when Maddy, who lives with her parents and brother in Fortismere Avenue, Muswell Hill, first took up ballet she had far humbler ambitions.

“My mum initially put me in a ballet class to help me get a good posture”, she said.

“I never thought about doing it as a professional career until my teacher started suggesting that I audition for a few parts. Then I realised that I could become a professional dancer.”

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Maddy is the first person in her family to take up dancing professionally, but she says her time rehearsing at the Highgate Ballet School has given her the confidence to take her dancing to the next level.

“It is a bit daunting joining the school,” she said. “I am the only ballet dancer in my year and I don’t know what the change is going to be like.

“But I am just looking forward to starting afresh and going to a school where everyone has the ambition, wants to do well and works hard.”

In joining the school, which works closely with the internationally acclaimed English Royal Ballet company, the 16-year-old will be following in the footsteps of many world renowned dancers.

These include Erina Takahashi, who performed as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.

“It is really hard to describe why I love ballet,” the student said.

“It is doing what I love everyday. While it is hard, it is also incredible rewarding and the sense of achievement is amazing.”