A talented Hartlepool youngster has won a scholarship at a leading dance organisation ahead of thousands of North East children.
And it is great reward for Erin Montgomery, 12, who has been dancing since she was just 14 months old.
She is very excited and we are very proud of her achievements. Her goals are to dance in the West End and Broadway, and to own her own dance school some dayJoy Montgomery
Today, proud mum Joy Montgomery paid tribute to her youngest daughter for keeping up her dream which, she hopes, will eventually lead to a career in dance.
Joy - who is also mum to 17-year-old Hartlepool Sixth Form College student Caitlyn, and eight-year-old Nathan who attends St Cuthbert’s Primary - told how far Erin had to go to become one of the chosen few.
“There were 40 places in total. Erin got her letter today that she has been accepted and will start this September.
“She is very excited and we are very proud of her.
“She has won many trophies for competing and highest exam marks.”
Erin’s links with Dance City began when representatives of the Newcastle-based organisation came to English Martyrs School in Hartlepool. “A company called Dance City came to the school and did an audition with the children,” said Joy.
It led to Erin going to Newcastle to do a taster class and that resulted in the Hartlepool youngster auditioning three more times.
The whole process started in February this year and continued with Erin coming through each round of narrowing down the field. By earlier this month, she had reached the final 50 and then came the letter to say that Erin was one of 40 children to be accepted.
Joy, who is married to John Montgomery who is a bus driver, said Erin deserved “some recognition for all this hard work.”
The 12-year-old is currently a student with both the Seaton Academy of Dance and Supreme Acrobatic Arts in Hartlepool.
“She knows no different from dancing,” said her proud mum. “She has danced since she was 14 months and she puts in ten hours a week.”
Erin could be at Dance City until she is 18 “if she wants to be,” said Joy.
“She wants to be in the West End and Broadway eventually. She wants to be famous.
“And then when she moves on from that, she wants to have her own dance studio.”
Erin is no stranger to success and was chosen as the most promising student under 12 at the Hartlepool May Dance Festival.
Joy said judges had previously told her daughter that they would be looking forward to seeing her on Broadway.