A talented dancer fears her promising career could be curtailed if she fails to secure funding to attend one of London’s top dance academies.
Rebecca Hutchins from Larbert has already been accepted into four schools, but will not be able take her place at any of them unless she can secure a scholarship that would pay for her estimated £15,000-a-year fees.
The 15-year-old, who recently won no fewer than seven titles at the Scottish Senior Championships, has applied for several scholarships and is waiting to hear if she has been successful.
But if the Falkirk High School pupil is turned down, she will have to postpone her dreams of becoming a professional dancer.
Due to the way arts student bursaries are means tested, Rebecca is not eligible for government assistance.
Mum Frances said: “Rebecca is at the level now that she needs to join a school down south to further her career.
“She’s already been accepted into four and has recently auditioned for scholarships, so we’re waiting to see how that goes.
“We’re also actively looking for sponsors. If that’s unsuccessful then she will need to try again next year.
“I have two other children and a house to run. We just could not afford the fees otherwise.”
Rebecca was named ‘Child of Achievement’ at last year’s Central FM Local Hero Awards, in recognition of her success as a dancer despite suffering from ureteric reflux after being born prematurely. She has two shunts in her bladder and has attended Yorkhill Hospital all her life.
Despite her difficulties she has won more than 60 titles, including the World Theatre Stage Dance Championship.
Rebecca said: “A generation of talent is in danger of being lost due to a lack of support.
“All I can do is hope for the best.”