Denny dancer Hayleigh gets her pointe across

Hayleigh Rossetter has won a coveted place at the Royal Academy of Dance to study to be a ballet teacher''Picture: Michael Gillen
Hayleigh Rossetter has won a coveted place at the Royal Academy of Dance to study to be a ballet teacher''Picture: Michael Gillen

Her life may be in a whirl but dancer Hayleigh Rossetter has her feet firmly on the ground.

As well as practising her ballet exercises regularly, the 17-year-old is packing up as she prepares to leave home to study in London.

The talented teen has won a sought-after place the BA(Hons) Ballet Education degree course at the Royal Academy of Dance in London.

While many of her dancing contemporaries dream of a life in the spotlight on stage, Hayleigh has made up her mind that her starring role will be teaching the dancers of the future.

Hundreds of would-be students from around the world applied for the 30 places available, with the Stenhouse School of Dance pupil one of the few deemed to have the skill and attributes needed to be successful on the arduous course.

Hayleigh said: “As it is a degree course, I applied last October through UCAS and was delighted to make the shortlist. We went down in December for the audition and interview stage, although we almost didn’t make it because of the storms!

“I had to take part in a ballet class, then choreograph a piece of work and teach it to two other candidates. They said we would hear who had been successful in about a fortnight but a week later they got in touch to say I had a place.

“It was the best Christmas present ever. Now I can’t believe that I’m just weeks away from actually going down to London to live and study. It is so exciting.”

The former High School of Glasgow pupil has been dancing since she was three years old and although she has studied a variety of disciplines, including modern, jazz, tap and freestyle, said her first love was always ballet.

She recently took part in her first-ever competitions, and at the Musselburgh festival won the ballet trophy for her age group, was fifth overall in her age group and won the trophy for the highest score in any of the ballet competitions.

Hayleigh added: “It’s going to be a wonderful experience. Students come from all over the world to study at the Royal Academy of Dance. I’m lucky that I’ve managed to find a flat that is just around the corner in Battersea. I’ll be sharing with two other students: one is from Malaysia and the other from Sweden, so it will certainly be a multi-cultural experience.”

Despite the time she spends dancing, the teenager still managed to achieve an impressive raft of exam results: Highers in English, maths, drama, physics, information systems and business management, as well as Advanced Highers in maths and information systems.

Although her achievements would have guaranteed her places to study at most universities, Hayleigh said there was never any doubt that she wanted to become a ballet teacher. Achieving a place at the Royal Academy is her dream come true.

Stenhouse principal Irene Langlands said Hayleigh is her first-ever pupil to achieve a place on the ballet education course.

She said: “Hayleigh has been assisting me for some time and latterly has had her own classes. She has a good aptitude and we are all delighted for her.”

The budding teacher admits that leaving behind her family – parents Dave and Susan, brother Matthew (15) and sister Emma (8) – will be a wrench, however, she will make regular trips back to their home outside Denny.

“And you never know, I’m sure that I will come back home to teach one