Melrose dancer has dreams of the big time

A talented ballet dancer from Melrose, earmarked as an outstanding student of a UK ballet school run by one of the world’s most famous dancers, is setting her sights on a career on stage.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 12:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th February 2021, 12:50 pm
Katie Rose Whincop in action at the ballet school

Katie Rose Whincop, a former pupil of Earlston High School now full-time at Edinburgh Festival Ballet, is set to graduate next year and has ambitions of emulating idol Skylar Brandt of the American Ballet Theatre and being cast in a principal role in Swan Lake or The Nutcracker.

“It’s been my dream for a while now to be a professional dancer, and to be touring and travelling the world with a company would be amazing,” she said. “We have performed a variation of The Nutcracker and, just before Christmas did an online production of Don Quixote, where I was cast to perform a solo.

“I look up to so many great dancers, including Maria Khoreva and Constance Devernay, and I’m lucky that our tutors at the school, like Johan Christensen (school principal) and Luke Schaufuss, are also professional dancers and so inspiring.

"Having teachers who are also incredible dancers has been one of the biggest motivators for a dancer in training like me. It’s such a privilege to have them right there, passing on their tricks to you.

“I can honestly say that it is some of the best training I’ve received,” said Katie Rose, who began ballet classes aged three at Manor School of Ballet in Galashiels.

“The teachers care about everyone’s wellbeing so much. From the point I joined to now, I have felt so welcome, appreciated and supported, and I would say that every aspect prepares you for a professional career. They’re always motivating us with future projects and opportunities.”

Principal Christensen said: “Katie Rose is a great example of what can be achieved by students on our full-time diploma course. Both sections of the school — part-time and full-time — present opportunities for aspiring dancers to learn from those that have been at the highest level of the dance profession.

The school is currently accepting applications for its part-time and full-time schools, with auditions to take place online and in person when possible in the coming months.

Youngsters aged 12 and older with ambitions of a career in dance can apply for a place at Edinburgh Festival Ballet’s part-time school at or via [email protected]