Attleborough teenager’s dancing dreams could be dashed

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 May 2011

Ashlie Snelling, 19, of Attleborough, who needs help in raising money to take up a place at a performing arts school

Ashlie Snelling, 19, of Attleborough, who needs help in raising money to take up a place at a performing arts school

Archant copyright 2011

A Norwich coffee shop girl’s dream of becoming a professional dancer faces being scuppered if she can not raise the money in time to take up her place at a popular performing arts college.

Aspiring dancer Ashlie 
Snelling, 19, who works at Starbucks in Castle Mall, is deciding whether to join the Performing Arts School in Cambridge or the Stella Mann College in Bedford to complete a National Diploma in Professional Dance.

Last year the former City College student unsuccessfully applied to both schools, but after 12 months of extra dance classes and another set of gruelling auditions in February she gained the coveted places she had hoped for.

But instead of enjoying the results of her hard work, she could be forced to turn down both offers as she is unable to raise the £9,500 per year needed.

Ashlie, of Leys Lane, Attleborough, said she is not eligible for a student loan because the three-year course she has chosen is not a degree. She is now writing to businesses across the county to see whether they would be prepared to sponsor her and is asking any local organisations which may be able to help to get in touch.

“I start in September. Without help I’ll probably not go. The only thing stopping me is the money,” she said.

Ashlie’s love of performing began when she took up ballet lessons aged five. Two years later she joined a dance troupe called Dance Express which led her to perform in venues across the world including at Disney World Florida. After leaving Attleborough High School she gained diplomas in performing arts at City College.

She said performing is “all I have ever dreamed of. Since I started I have never wanted anything else.

“Even when I got told ‘no’ last year I still didn’t want to stop.”

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