Paige ready to turn to a new dance chapter

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A East Lothian dance star has received funding from a nationwide bursary allowing her to pursue her dream of going professional.

Paige McKinlay, 16, has been given the chance to develop her creative talents thanks to a funding system established in a partnership between Creative Scotland and Young Scot.

The Nurturing Talent Fund will issue £40,000 to individuals and groups across Scotland over a two year project.

The money is set to be distributed by the National Youth Arts Advisory Group.

Paige, who has already appeared in stage productions of Footloose and Grease at the Edinburgh Playhouse, wants to use the funding to participate in an intensive dance course to improve her ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz and hip hop skills.

She hopes to work with established dancers and industry professionals to develop her abilities after also performing in annual dance shows and passing numerous dance examinations, all at merit or distinction level.

Paige revealed she was delighted to receive the bursary and said it would give her the opportunity to “achieve her dreams”.

She added: “I am so happy to be awarded the funding from Young Scot. The funding will give everyone a fair chance at achieving their dreams.”

“I’m so excited to attend my dance school’s summer intensive week, allowing me to further my dance education and hopefully be the beginning of a successful career in dance.”

The nurturing talent fund aims to support young people’s creative work regardless of geography, affordability or disability as part of the Scottish government’s Time to Shine youth arts strategy, which seeks to change the way the arts is viewed and help Scotland become an international leader in young people’s creativity.

Louise Macdonald, Young Scot’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re really excited to see Paige’s dream of attending a summer dance programme become a reality. Scotland is a source of inspirational and talented young people like Page McKinlay. The nurturing talent fund is a fantastic platform for young people to kick start their creative careers and show Scotland what they can achieve with a little support.”

A spokesperson for Creative Scotland said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to be working in partnership with Young Scot and the National Youth Arts Advisory Group to deliver the Nurturing Talent Fund for Scotland’s young and aspiring artists. The awards from this first round of the 2017 fund will support 36 young people from communities across Scotland with the progression of ideas, projects and careers, ensuring young artists can achieve regardless of financial status.”

Applications for the fund are open to young people aged 14-20 across Scotland until August 28.