Affectionately referred to as the 'Billy Elliot of Wexford' by his mentors, local dancer Alex Saunders is about to take his talent to the next level after being awarded a scholarship to study at the prestigious Bird College in London.
An acclaimed musical theatre college, it represents a massive opportunity for 18 year-old Alex who thoroughly impressed in his audition. Alex started training with Wexford School of Ballet and Performing Arts (WSBPA) at the age of 10. He took his first tentative steps into the field of modern dance before entering the world of ballet.
Eight years later and he now dances modern, ballet, contemporary, commercial, jazz and tap. In fact, he now spends most of his time in the WSBPA studios in John Street, whether it's preparing for a show or training for exams.
'He's a natural talent in all dance genres and comes alive when he performs,' said teacher Suzanne O'Leary.
Alex has appeared in a whole host of productions on the National Opera House stage, dancing the lead in the likes of 'The Nutcracker' and 'Swan Lake', while also lending his talents to Oyster Lane and Wexford Panto Society productions.
Having been accepted for the scholarship to Bird College, his family and friends have started fundraising for his 3 year professional course.
'It's one thing to have the fees covered for the first year,' Suzanne said.
'But there are two additional years to follow and with the cost of living in London, flights, exam fees and dance gear etc, it will work out to be an expensive time for Alex. For that reason we're looking for sponsorship, no matter how small, to help him on his way to pursue a life-long dream to dance and perform professionally.'
'He is such a hard worker and has shed blood, sweat, and tears to reach the unbelievably high standard he already attains.'
If you wish to contribute and sponsor Alex, contact WSBPA at www.wexfordschoolballet.com.