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A sixth form dance student at Kingsbury Green Academy has been awarded a £300 bursary to help her perfect her technique, thanks to the organisers of the Calne Music and Arts Festival.

Lauren Elkins with CMAF president Carole BrowneLauren Elkins, a Year 13 student at Kingsbury Green Academy, which is part of the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust, is studying media and performing arts, specialising in several forms of dance, including jazz, modern and lyrical dance. She began dancing when she was just four years old, taking classes at Calne’s Lyndsay Howard Academy, and by her early teens was also teaching other students dance.

Kingsbury Green Academy’s curriculum leader of creative arts, Alice Mitchell, said Lauren was nominated for the bursary because she is not only a talented dancer in her own right but is committed to passing on her expertise and relish for dance to others.

“Lauren is very inspirational and works incredibly hard,” said Mrs Mitchell.

“She began choreographing school dance events when she was just 13, and runs her own dance clubs. The bursary is being spent on a personalised workshop for Lauren delivered by a specialist dance teacher who helps students perfect their technique and prepare audition pieces for entry to higher education.”

Lauren said that she was delighted to learn about her award.

“I was really surprised, as I hadn’t known that I’d been nominated,” said Lauren.

“I love teaching, and I love seeing how I can help students progress and enjoy their dancing. I also love seeing my choreography come together, and I’m planning to take a Dance Education and Teaching course at Uni so I can become a professional dance teacher.”

Calne Music and Arts Festival (CMAF) is a community celebration of music and the arts, which takes place during a ten-day period at the beginning of October each year to entertain its audiences and to promote local musical and artistic talent. Its Patron is Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music, who was composer in residence at one of the early Festivals in 1975. It is sponsored by Chilvester Financial.

Carole Browne, president of CMAF, said the festival committee offers a bursary every year to a young local student, whether a singer, dancer or instrumentalist, who shows exceptional promise in their discipline.

“Kingsbury Green Academy plays a large role in the Festival, putting on a lunchtime concert each year and also hosts the massed choirs of all the local junior schools,” she said.

“We are delighted that this year’s bursary has been awarded to a student who is not only talented and hard-working, but also so keen to support and encourage her fellow students.”

Photo: Lauren Elkins with CMAF President Carole Browne