Two Tong Leadership Academy pupils have an extra spring in their step having been invited to join Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre Company.

Aiden Hadley, aged 18, and Kian Crabtree, aged 17, both successfully auditioned in June to win places in the Phoenix Youth Academy.

During their auditions the boys participated in a technique class, learnt a set repertoire and were given the opportunity to work creatively. Aiden and Kian found the audition a challenging experience, but one which they embraced.

Aiden Hadley, who has just left the Academy having completed his A-levels, said,

“The day was such an amazing experience and I have never been so challenged. I am hoping that working with Phoenix Youth Academy will give me the experience and provide opportunities that will guide me towards my goals.”.”

Year 12 pupil Kian Crabtree said,

“I really enjoyed the experience of working alongside so many talented dancers. It made me realise that I am going to need to work really hard, but I am definitely excited and up for the challenge.”.”

Sally Harington, our performing arts curriculum leader, added,

“To be a part of the Phoenix Youth Academy is a real achievement and I am so proud that two of our students have been given this amazing opportunity. I know Aiden and Kian will thoroughly enjoy the experience over the next 12 months, and I am very much looking forward to watching their future performances.”

Phoenix Youth Academy offers a training programme for talented young dancers aged between 13 and 19 who are interested in pursuing dance as a career. The programme allows students to develop their contemporary dance technique through working with recognised choreographers and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s company dancers.

Both Kian and Aiden were among performers in our performing arts showcase, an end of year event for pupils and their parents.

The showcase event, held on Wednesday 12 July, was a culmination of the academic year’s performing arts activities. Performances included the Rock Challenge piece ‘Bedlam’, a drama piece based on the 1969 Ken Loach film ‘Kes’, a musical theatre piece, and a Michael Jackson tribute. Performing arts pupils from Year 7 to Year 13 took to the stage.

Photo: Tong Leadership Academy performing arts curriculum leader Sally Harington with pupils Aiden Hadley (left) and Kian Crabtree (right)