Candice wins national crown

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FROM ballet to modern dance – Candice Theasby is fast becoming a master of them all and she has the titles to prove it.

The 13 year old from Hartlepool is the newly crowned champion of English modern dance for 10 to 14-year-olds.

She won the competition in Manchester against the talented threat of 130 other youngsters who had travelled from all over the country.

Mum Kelly Theasby, 40, from the Park Road area of Hartlepool, said: “It is phenomenal. It is a really big achievement.”

It is one of many successes for Candice who puts in at least 10 hours of practice a week.

She also won the North of England ballet title against 70 other children in a competition at Middlesbrough.

And she has been shortlisted for the Classique de Danse Awards which is only available to high-achieving young dancers.

Candice and the last two other remaining entrants will learn their fate in Southport in July.

She trains at the Watson Academy of Dance, based in Park Road, where the pricipal is Mandy Watson, 42, who is Candice’s aunty.

And to complete the family connection, Kelly is a teacher at the academy.

Mandy said: “Candice works so hard and she is really committed to what she does. She practises at the academy for 10 hours a week and then, on a Saturday, she goes to Leeds to train with the Northern Ballet Theatre School.

“She leaves for Leeds at 6.30am and she doesn’t get home until 3pm.”

She described Candice’s success at Manchester and said: “She won the overall title with a modern dance which was based on Jonny Depp’s character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

“There were three adjudicators and she had to win the approval of all three to get in among the rankings.”

Candice was also runner-up in the Junior English Song and Dance Championships and third in the English Junior Tap Championships.

Mandy added: “To get into one final is brilliant but to get into three is phenomenal.”