Stephen Walker

Burnley College Sixth Form Centre Advanced Level dance student to represent England in Dance World Cup

A talented Advanced Level dance student at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre has been selected to represent England in the Dance World Cup in Rome this summer.

Stephen Whitaker (17) is now in training for the prestigious contest which will see top dancers from more than 40 countries compete – and the England team battle to retain the trophy they won in 2019.

With the help of College dance tutor Samantha Allen and his teachers at the Joanne Wilson Ballet and Dance School in Fleetwood, where he now lives, Stephen is working hard to ensure his performance in the commercial dance category will wow the international judges.

Stephen, who enjoys taking part in the College’s successful Dance Academy, appearing in productions both in College and the wider community and performing at open events to inspire potential new students, said:

“I’m really excited to be competing for England at the Dance World Cup in Rome – it’ll be an amazing experience and one I’ll never forget. I’m currently training every day in the dance studios in College, as well as twice a week at my dance school in Fleetwood and am determined to make an impression on the judges and help England retain the trophy!”

Stephen (17) has already secured a place to study for a BA(Hons) degree in dance at the respected ShockOut Arts Academy, Manchester, and is looking forward to a career as a professional dancer, supporting musicians on world tours, appearing in music videos and performing on cruise ships.

The former Unity College student travels to Burnley to continue his Advanced Level dance studies after his family moved to Fleetwood last year. He started dancing at the age of six, initially taking lessons in ballet and street dance before extending his repertoire to include contemporary and commercial dance, jazz, tap and cheerleading.

He added:

“I’m competing in the commercial category in Rome and have to reduce my original audition piece which lasted two minutes and 50 seconds down to two minutes, which is challenging. It’s a mix of street and hip hop styles, like you see in music videos, to a soundtrack incorporating Post Malone’s ‘Wow’ and Stefflon Don’s ’16 Shots’.”

Tutor Sammy Allen said:

“We’re very proud of Stephen’s amazing achievement and wish him every success performing in Rome. Reaching the finals of the Dance World Cup will be a huge boost to his future career and we’re sure that he will achieve his dream of supporting some of the world’s top musicians on the biggest stages and in big-budget videos.

“Burnley College has a great reputation for nurturing the talent of amazing dancers and each year our dancers go on to great things, performing at venues across the UK with leading dance companies and studying at world-renown institutions, including the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

“Stephen is a great inspiration to his fellow dancers in College and has an amazing work ethic. He can always be found in the rehearsal studio and his determination to be the very best is already earning him international recognition.”

Are you keen to forge a career in the world of dance – as a teacher, a choreographer or a professional performer? Are you looking for a College that shares your passion for dance and can give you the academic excellence and experiences which will make you stand out from the crowd? Find out more about our A Level and Vocational dance programmes online at www.burnley.ac.uk, contact 01282 733333 or email s.services@burnley.ac.uk.