Fife’s ‘Billy Elliot’: Youngster lands dance school place

Luke Henderson's impresive dancing skills have earned him a place at the National School of Dance. Picture: George McLusky
Luke Henderson's impresive dancing skills have earned him a place at the National School of Dance. Picture: George McLusky

A Methilhill boy, tipped to be ‘Fife’s Billy Elliot’, has landed a place at a prestigious dance school after two successful auditions.

Luke Henderson (11) won his place and after the summer will now go on to study at The Dance School of Scotland, at Knightswood secondary in Glasgow.

Luke Henderson

Luke Henderson

The Methilhill Primary pupil’s ambition to succeed has seen him learn ballet, contemporary, and acrobatic dance,

His mum, Angela said the family had tears in their eyes when the letter arrived with the offer.

“Luke was so nervous that he couldn’t open it,” she said.

“His gran took it off him and opened it. She was actually screaming she was so happy.

“It was quite emotional, we were in tears. It still hasn’t sunk in yet.

“It was a huge moment for the family.”

And while some kids may tease Luke about his love of dancing, it doesn’t deter him. In fact, quite the opposite.

“He just brushes it off,” said Angela. “It doesn’t stop him. If anything it makes him more determined.”

The location of the school in Glasgow means that Luke will have to board there for most of the week.

Luke himself was overjoyed at being accepted. And he is already setting his sights on what he wants to do in future.

He said: “I was in shock when I found out. I’m definitely looking forward to it.

“I want to be a triple threat. That’s someone who can sing, dance and act, and it would be great to work in Los Angeles.”

Luke also takes acrobatic arts classes in Glenrothes, learning moves which he can incorporate into his dancing.

His teacher, Alanna Dardas, is very proud of him.

She said: “He’s done really well. He just doesn’t stop practicing. He just loves it, and he’s so determined.

“I’m just delighted. He’e worked so hard, so he really deserves it.

“He’s just going to go from strength to strength.”

The Dance School of Scotland is the country’s only fully-funded centre of excellence for vocational dance and musical theatre.

The school, which is incorporated into Knightswood Secondary School, is funded by the Scottish Government and is available to talented youngsters from all over Scotland.

Former students have gone on to become members of prestigious dance companies including Scottish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Vienna State and Royal Swedish Ballet.

Others are performing in West End and Broadway productions such as Chicago, Matilda, Wicked, Legally Blonde, Mamma Mia, and 42nd Street.

Around 200 hopefuls applied to join this year, with Luke being one of just 14 successfully joining first year.