Dancer is going from strength to strength

Bobby Ratcliffe, 11, in uniform, at Barbara Speake Stage School. NNL-150602-131757001
Bobby Ratcliffe, 11, in uniform, at Barbara Speake Stage School. NNL-150602-131757001

A young dancer from Banbury who won a scholarship to a prestigious stage school in London is continuing to impress.

Bobby Ratcliffe, 11, joined Barbara Speake Stage School in August last year after receiving a full scholarship. He will remain at the school until he is 16.

As well as going from strength to strength in ballet, tap, musical theatre and modern dance, he is also succeeding academically according to his mum, Hayley Thompson.

He is currently playing the part of Charlie in the school’s production of Charlie and Chocolate Factory, has modelled for clothing chain River Island and will be appearing in the BBC Two show Collectaholics alongside the school’s owner and doll collector, Barbara Speake. Ms Thompson said: “He had to move to London on his own, but he is really enjoying it.

“He has made lots of new friends.

“They all have the same passion. He works really hard. Miss Speake is very strict and she doesn’t take any nonsense.

All the students know why they are there.”

She added the school days were long with pupils learning the performing arts every day in addition to the normal school curriculum.

Ms Thompson said: “He is exhausted when I pick him up on Fridays, but he loves going to school.”