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Young people

Yeovil Rotary supports dancing prodigy

Yeovil Rotary supports dancing prodigy

As custodians of the Yeovil Young Achievers Trust, Yeovil Rotary are supporting an up and coming dancer from the Somerset town.

James Bamford has his sights set on becoming a professional dancer, so the Rotary club recently made a donation to financially support those ambitions.

The Yeovil Young Achievers Trust was set up by a team local businessmen and Rotary club members to support and nurture talented young people in the area.

For a recipient to receive support, they have to meet a certain set of criteria – and in James’ case, he surpassed the requirements with flying colours.

A former pupil of Westfield Academy in Yeovil – where he was Head Boy – and currently a student at Strode College in Street, James has already achieved distinctions in all his RAD Ballet Exams.

His CV includes performing with the original cast of ‘A Teenage Opera’ with the Youth Music Theatre UK in 2017, being offered a place at the Tring Park School for Performing Arts and winning the Kevin O’Hare Scholarship by the Royal Academy of Dance in 2018.

James Bamford has his sights set on becoming a professional dancer, so the Rotary club recently made a donation to financially support those ambitions.

During lockdown earlier this year and with live performances cancelled, James ran a series of online dance classes and this summer, performed a 24-hour Danceathon when he raised over £2,000 in aid of theatre workers.

He is currently the Artistic Director for the non-profit organisation Project Dance and produced a 15-minute version of the Nutcracker which he presented at Christmas.

James’ hard work and natural talent has not gone unnoticed. This has led to him be offered a place with the English National Ballet, together with a bursary that covers 50% of his tuition fees.

During lockdown earlier this year and with live performances cancelled, James ran a series of online dance classes and this summer, performed a 24-hour Danceathon when he raised over £2,000 in aid of theatre workers.”

He is delighted to have been selected as a recipient of funds from the Yeovil Young Achievers Trust

He said: “I am extremely grateful to the trustees of the Yeovil Young Achievers Trust and members of the Rotary Club of Yeovil for selecting me as one of their candidates.

“This generous contribution will make all the difference and will allow me to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity I now have with the English National Ballet.

I am extremely grateful to the trustees of the Yeovil Young Achievers Trust and members of the Rotary Club of Yeovil for selecting me as one of their candidates.”

“It will also enable me to pursue my career as a professional dancer and musical theatre performer.”

On presenting James with his supporting YYAT donation of £500, Yeovil Rotary Club President, Jackie Henderson, said: “When a young person in the town possesses the level of talent that James clearly has, it’s wonderful to be able to help and this is exactly why the Yeovil Young Achievers Trust was created.

“We are delighted to support James so that he can take advantage of this fantastic opportunity he has with the English National Ballet, as he goes on to take the next step in what is undoubtedly going to be a highly successful career.

“We look forward to watching his progress with great interest.”