Two musical theatre students from West Cheshire College in Ellesmere Port are celebrating after securing places at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) in Barcelona.
Olivia Ashton and Laila Mangan saw off hundreds of other applicants worldwide to secure places at the specialist performing arts school for September.
Olivia, 17, said: “I was delighted to earn a place at LIPA Barcelona. It is a great achievement as they are holding auditions across the world in places including Paris, New York and London and only have 40 places for all of these global auditions.
“I will be studying dance at LIPA as it’s something I have always been interested in and I’m so looking forward to studying there and to be dancing full-time.
“During the audition I was involved in dance classes, did a singing performance and a monologue before having an interview. Doing the course at West Cheshire College has definitely helped me to get accepted to LIPA as it has improved my skills, ability and confidence.
“My tutors at college really helped me in the build-up to my audition especially with my singing and monologue as I was less confident about these elements and I wouldn’t have done as well without their support.
“My career goal is to work for a dance company and travel around the world and I’m sure that my experience at West Cheshire College and at LIPA will help me achieve this.”
Other successes at the college include HNC Dance student Shannon Newbanks, who has secured a place at Laine Theatre Arts in London, music technology student Amy Royale, who has been accepted to the Millennium Theatre School in London and Emily Malone, who has been offered a place at The Hammond School in Chester.
Sharon Brown, assistant manager of performing arts, said: “Students have to undertake gruelling auditions so it is a fantastic achievement that our students have already gained places in prestigious schools.
“The auditions vary with the different schools but a typical school would require participation in ballet, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre and choreography workshops, a dance solo, two contrasting songs and monologues.
“The college is so proud of everyone who has secured a place at a school so far. Many of our past students are studying at these schools and are doing really well and I believe our current students can follow their success.”
The college has also announced it has secured opportunities for dance students to gain employment with Thomas Cook as part of their worldwide entertainment team. The travel company will be visiting the college regularly to speak to students before returning to conduct auditions ahead of the summer season.
Applications are being taken to join musical theatre and dance programmes at West Cheshire College in September.