Bright future for Turners Dance student

Date published: 24 January 2021

A student at Turners Dance Studio, Rochdale, has been accepted into three of the top dance and drama schools in the country.

Jessica Butterworth, 17, has been accepted into degree programmes at Bird College, Urdang Academy, both in London, and The Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts in Swindon following successful auditions.

She has one more audition at the end of February – for Laines Theatre Arts.

Whilst Jessica was only able to attend one audition in person due to lockdown restrictions, all three schools were so impressed that they offered the student a position. Digital auditions were submitted to the other two schools and will also be submitted to Laines.

Each school receives around 1,000 applications and accepts between 50 and 80 students.

Originally wanting to become a primary school teacher, Jessica changed her mind last year, throwing all her effort not only into her A-levels at Rochdale Sixth Form College but also her dancing, taking part in Zoom classes and extra online lessons.


Jessica Butterworth


Many students who attend prestigious dance schools usually also attend a specialist college.

Jessica has been a student at Turners for around 10 years, having started with disco before adding free style, Latin, ballroom, hip-hop, contemporary and jazz to her repertoire.

She said: “I haven’t decided which university I will go to yet, but I’ve been researching them.

“I did want to be a teacher and it was only two years ago that Turners mentioned dance. I thought about it, but I didn’t decide until I was already at college.”

Paul-Michael Jones, of Turners, said: “Jess has gone all out this last year, putting in so much practice and making something of her time. She is an amazing and respectful student who gives her all.

“We’ll be sad to see her go, but whichever college she attends will be very lucky to have her.”

Jessica added: “It’s amazing to have all these opportunities.”

Jessica hasn’t decided which university she will attend but will begin her BA (Hons) in dance and musical theatre in September 2021.

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