A TALENTED dancer who dreams of taking to the West End stage is hoping generous readers will help send her on her way.
Natalie Wilmshurst, 19, has been given a place on a three-year degree course at the prestigious Bird College in Kent.
But because she’s already completed an HND in dance at Anniesland College, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) won’t fund her first year.
That means she needs to come up with a massive £12,000 before the course starts in September.
The bubbly Renfrew girl said: “It’s a really big college, one of the top ones down south. I couldn’t believe I got in, I was so excited.
“Then I found out SAAS won’t cover the first year because I’ve already done an HND in dance which they said is like the first year of my degree.
“I can’t go straight into second year at Bird College because it’s a completely different standard of training, I need to start in first year.
“It’s an opportunity I can’t miss – I can’t not go down to London because there’s nothing really in Glasgow for training dancers.
“But if I don’t get the money together, I won’t be able to go. The college doesn’t offer scholarships for degree students, the fees are meant to be covered by SAAS.”
Natalie is part of the Fear of the Unknown dance group which reached the finals of the hit Sky1 show, Got to Dance, earlier this year.
Fellow member, Pierce Meehan, has also got a place at a London college and the two are planning a jointfundraising night to help with their fees.
“We don’t have the date or the venue yet but we’ll definitely put on a good show,” said Natalie. “The Fear will perform and we’ll get some of our other dance friends along as well.
“I’m also trying to look for sponsors to help me with the funding.”
Bird College has a long-list of former students who are now performing in big West End shows, and Natalie hopes she’ll soon be one of them.
She said: “I’d love to go to the West End and do shows like Chicago, Cats and We Will Rock You. The course will cover everything – singing, acting and dancing. I’d love to be able to do that after my training.”
If anyone can help Natalie with sponsorship, contact her at email@example.com