Young ballet dancer to join his sister at prestigious London school

Charlie Waller has been accepted to study at the Royal Ballet School after becoming fascinated with dance from the age of three.

Charlie Waller from Edinburgh first became fascinated with dancing at the age of three after watching his older sister Emily performing.

Now he’s following in her footsteps once again after being accepted to study at the Royal Ballet School in London, one of the world’s most renowned institutions.

Not only will Charlie, 11, be the only Scottish male at the school, but he and 12-year-old Emily will be the only pair of Scottish siblings among the international student ranks.

Charlie told STV News: “I’m very excited just to be in a class full of boys my age who have the same interests as me.

“I’m really excited to join her (Emily) and she’s really assured me that I’ll be fine staying away from home.

“When I’m older I would really like to be a professional ballet dancer with the royal ballet to perform on the Royal Opera House stage.”

With around 1,400 people applying to join The Royal Ballet School every year, Charlie has secured one of only ten to 12 places available to new Year 7 (S1) boys.

It’s a very exciting time for mum Morag, even though she might be a touch nervous to have two of her children living more than 300 miles away.

She said: “We’re so pleased that Charlie has been given this opportunity to follow his dream of becoming a professional dancer.

“Since he was a toddler, he has always loved dance and Edinburgh Dance Academy has been crucial in helping him progress to this current level. Joining The Royal Ballet School will now enable Charlie to further develop and maximise his talent.

“While it will feel very strange not having him here under our roof and we will, of course, miss him terribly, we know how much this means to him. We’re also reassured that he and Emily will be together in London.”

Charlie has been a regular student at the Edinburgh Dance Academy (EDA) for years, where he’s learned the skills that have helped him make the big move.

Charlie currently attends 14 classes with the Edinburgh-based school every week, participating in ballet and other styles of dance. He is also a junior associate with Scottish Ballet and was recently cast as Young Cinders in its production of Cinders.

Julie Mitchell, Principal and Founder at EDA, said: “Charlie is a lovely boy who has been with EDA for most of his young life. He’s got incredible drive and real talent as a dancer so we couldn’t be more pleased about him securing a place at The Royal Ballet School.

“We are very proud of his progress to date and we look forward to seeing him further develop his dance skills through this new and exciting chapter.”

Charlie will move to London to join Emily in September.

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