Blackpool final beckons for Bishop's Stortford High School dance star
A national final in Blackpool awaits for rising dance star Laura Skinner – but not until The Bishop's Stortford High School student has sat her A Level exams.
Laura, 18, won her regional round of the Miss Dance and Dance Master of Great Britain competition and will face 69 other hopefuls at the home of ballroom dancing this June.
The Takeley resident has been dancing since she was four. She started with ballet, tap and modern dance and now also dances musical theatre, classical Greek and contemporary.
She trains at Morgan Asloff in Enfield in partnership with Bishop's Stortford's Jacqui Ison School of Dance & Theatre Arts. Her dance teachers are both former Miss Dance contest winners.
Her schedule is very demanding. In addition to her A Level studies in English language, art and film studies, Laura practises four times a week and has competitions roughly every other weekend.
She takes part in dance festivals most weekends, overseen by the International Dance Teachers Association, as well as the All England Dance competition every two years.
Laura also dances with a partner and a group, and her tap team came second in the senior tap group category at the Dance World Cup finals in Barcelona last year.
For the Miss Dance competition, Laura performed a three-minute piece, and her routine included a lyrical, fast and 'Queen of the Night' section. Dancers are marked out of 100. Laura scored 91, which is incredibly high as 80+ is a distinction and 86 is the standard qualifying mark for the All England competition.
The final on June 9 is the day after her last A Level exam. Laura, who previously attended Birchwood High School, said: "I love the thrill of dancing, it's such an accomplished feeling. I love the fun of the performance."
After leaving school, Laura hopes to carry on dancing and would like to follow a career in visual marketing.
Rob Stark, head of sixth form at TBSHS, said: "In school, she's had a fantastic impact on our fundraising group, Interact, and has helped organise our student-led variety show, Showcase, which were all great successes. Her recent achievements in dance are absolutely fantastic and testament to her dedication and talent."