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Dancing Dale hotfooting it to success

PUBLISHED: 05:35 20 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

AT just 10 years old dancing champion Dale White has a reputation for being fast on his feet.

The quickstepping schoolboy has improved so fast he has left a string of young female partners behind him and only the older girls can keep pace.

AT just 10 years old dancing champion Dale White has a reputation for being fast on his feet.

The quickstepping schoolboy has improved so fast he has left a string of young female partners behind him and only the older girls can keep pace.

Now it looks as though Suffolk's own Billy Elliot has found someone who can keep up with him, in 11-year-old Laura Grant from Biggin Hill in Kent.

They have been selected as part of the British juvenile Ballroom and Latin dance team to compete at the Blackpool Dance Festival For Juniors this Easter.

Dale was also chosen as captain and the pair will also represent Britain in a week-long contest in Shanghai, China in August.

Proud mum Michelle White, of Evabrook Close, Belstead Hills, Ipswich, said it was an great honour for her son, who hopes to forge a career in the performing arts.

She added: "He is really chuffed. He's wanted to represent his country for some time."

Dale and Laura were selected following the British Closed Competition in Blackpool in November when they scored highly in Ballroom and Latin events.

It is not all strictly ballroom for Gusford Primary School pupil Dale. He is currently waiting to hear whether he has passed the first round of interviews for the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden.

Although Mrs White is pleased he is so keen and says she will support him "100% of the way" if he wins a place, she is anxious about losing her youngest son to London.

If the ballet school turns him down, he will start at Chantry High School, Ipswich in September and continue dance classes with Jeannette Gordon at the Jays School of Dancing in Boreham, near Chelmsford.

Dale has also recently passed his gold medal award in Latin and in Ballroom and will now begin working towards the Josephine Bradley Award.

Dancing has not affected his education despite a punishing schedule, which involves travelling to Essex and Surrey for after school classes, up to three times a week, often returning home after 10pm.

Dale began dancing in brother Jason's footsteps, after the older sibling took to modern jazz. Jason, 16, is studying performing arts at Suffolk College.

Although just 4ft 7 ½ ins tall, Dale has long been tipped for international fame.

He has already won dozens of dancing trophies, medals and titles from competitions in the UK, Italy and Barcelona. His next contest appearance is at the Celtic Classic in Tralee, Ireland, today which is open to couples from all over the world.

The future looks bright but the only slight hurdle is Laura's birthday in August, which will propel the couple into a higher age group, eight months before Dale would ordinarily have to move up.

"It's always been difficult for us to find the partners of the right age and height," said Mrs White.

"Dale now has to decide whether to go with her. He's no option really – she's a lovely girl and a very good dancer - but it's a shame it doesn't give him the full time to reach his potential.

"Then again, the Royal ballet audition could change everything."


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