March 2019: Dancing dreams come true for Emily

DANCER, Emily Biel, was selected from more than a hundred hopefuls from all over the world for a place at the prestigious Northern Ballet School in Manchester.

The 16-year-old from Rawtenstall has been dancing since she took up street dance aged six in an after school club being run by Dansworks Dance Academy of Performing Arts principal, Karen Roe.

Emily said: “Karen suggested that I come along to Dansworks and I have been attending ever since.

“I love dancing and I love how everyone here has helped me to improve. It is like a big family and everyone is so supportive.

“Dancing makes me happy and I when I am watching others it is aesthetically pleasing; I hope I am aesthetically pleasing when I am dancing too.”

She is currently studying A levels in dance, psychology and health and social care at Haslingden Sixth Form, but in September she will take up one of just over 30 places.

Emily said: “At the audition, we started with a warm up which meant I got to know some of the other girls and then I was not so nervous.

“We had a ballet class and pointe work and then we could choose either a jazz or contemporary class – and I chose jazz.

“We had a tour of the school and got to see parts of a show based on Alice in Wonderland and it was very technical and really impressive. Then I did a solo of my choice and I chose a jazz dance.”

Finally, Emily was interviewed by the principal who asked where she wanted her career to go. Then came the wait.

Ten days later, her mum Jeanette picked her up from school and on the car seat was a letter.

Emily said: “I opened it and the first thing I saw was the word ‘successful’. I did it.

“I am now going to apply for a Dance And Drama Award which will hopefully help with costs, but I will be living at home and commuting.”

The first year will be spent learning a variety of dance styles and in years two and three she will get to specialise.

The dream is a place on the stage and hopefully in the West End, but dancers from Northern Ballet are also scouted by dance companies and shows from all over the world.

Later in her career, Emily hopes to become a choreographer.

At Dansworks, she has represented the academy at the World Street Dancing Championships, starred in a professional production of Peter Pan, appeared in several pantomimes at the Royal Court Theatre and backed Jimmy Cricket when he appeared there.

Her parents, Jeanette and David, are very proud of their daughter.

She is the second dancer from Dansworks to be taking up a place at Northern Ballet School in September – she will be joined by Jaydan Hanson-Beech while another dancer Jasmine Somerwill has landed a place at Shockout Arts Academy also in Manchester.

Principal Karen said: “To have three dancers achieve this level of success at the same time is testimony to the hard work they have put in over the many years they have been with Dansworks.

“We are thrilled about their achievements and we are all looking forward to seeing them achieve their goals and land the places on the stage they all aspire to.”

To find out more about Dansworks visit or call 01706 559671.