THE YMCA has nurtured top class acts over the years and there’s another youngster hoping to share in the limelight.
Last week the Evening News week long spotlight celebrated all that has come from the St Thomas Street venue over the years in light of executive director Chris Wilby’s announcement to shortly step down.
West End performer Ben Ellis, Coronation Street’s Mikey North and Lori Kellet, who made the final 25 of Grease is the Word, all started their showbiz careers at the YMCA, and looking to add her name to the list of growing stars is local girl Alice Martin.
Alice of Stepney Road joined the Hatton School of Performing arts at the YMCA four years ago and, following a successful audition, was recently offered a part-scholarship at Tiffany Theatre School in Essex to start in September. The 15-year-old, who is a student at St Augustine’s School said she was delighted to get on to the course particularly as she suffers from dyslexia and has struggled with academic subjects.
She is currently organising fund-raising activities for over the summer and is saving money from a job at Cloughton Tearooms, but the teenager is now looking for sponsorship to fund the £9,000-a-year course fees and extra for accommodation.
Alice said: “I started at the YMCA when I was 11 years old to make new friends and to build my confidence, and I really loved it.
“I find dancing is something I can do instead of just academic work, I’m good at practical things but I find academic subjects harder.
“I’d like to do dancing professionally; I want to do commercial work for music videos doing dancing and work on cruise ships.
Alice said she didn’t expect to get onto the two-year course at Tiffany Theatre School, but is thankful to her teachers at the YMCA for encouraging and helping her to do so.
She added: “I just wanted to experience more I thought I’d go for my first audition to see what it was like.
“I made up my own performance with the help of my teachers; Kerry and David Nicholson helped me with the monologue and signing and Jodi Hatton helped me with the dancing so I want to thank them.”
Alice has taken part in numerous shows at the theatre, most recently in the summer production of Beauty and the Beast.
Alice’s mother Rachel Martin said: “They say dancing, acting, performing is an outlet, a way of expressing yourself and if you’re not achieving at school, to do something like this. Alice is a great example of someone who has overcome difficulties with her dyslexia and really deserves her place at the theatre college.”
Anyone who is interested in sponsoring Alice can contact Rachel Martin on 01723 371571 or 07535033310.