Holly realises her dream of professional training at Emil Dale

For years, Holly Jones (16) from Pontypool in Wales has dreamed of professional training to build on her natural talent for musical theatre. From this September, her dream becomes a reality with help from The Realising Dreams Foundation as she takes up a place at The Emil Dale Academy.

Holly has developed her singing, acting and dancing thanks to school and local theatre. But she has never been fortunate enough to be able to afford professional lessons in any of these disciplines – until now.

Holly is entirely self-taught, gaining experience and confidence from the school and theatre productions she has appeared in. She has held roles in CATS, Rent, Footloose, Summer Holiday and has recently been appearing in A Chorus Line in Newport playing the demanding role of Maggie Winslow.

The Emil Dale Academy recognised Holly’s talent when she auditioned and was offered a place. She applied to The Realising Dreams Foundation for support in meeting some of the costs that were just out of reach of her and her family.

Rachel Jenkins, Head of Performing Arts at Abersychan School said: “Holly is a determined young lady who stands out in school shows and local theatre productions. I have taught at the school for 10 years and her vocal ability is the best I have ever heard.

“This is a massive opportunity for Holly that will also have a huge impact on other young people in the area. It will show them that, despite coming from area that isn’t very affluent, you can still go on to achieve great things if you work hard enough and never give up!”

The Realising Dreams Foundation Chairman Ron Burges added: “Holly hasn’t been able to access formal classes. Yet she has found other ways within her local community to learn and grow. And I’m certain her performances will have brought joy and entertainment to people locally. She has proved herself to be self motivated and determined – both characteristics needed to succeed in a competitive world. We are happy to help her achieve her dream to study at the Emil Dale Academy.”

Holly succeeds in securing her first taste of professional training at Emil Dale Academy