DANCERS at a Bury dance school have not let the coronavirus lockdown stop them from following their dreams.

Although they have not been able to attend classes in person, talented youngsters from the Janet Lomas School of Dancing in Blackford Bridge have secured places at some of the country's most prestigious ballet academies.

Among them is 11-year-old Emily Teixeira, who has been offered a place to study ballet full time at The Hammond School in Chester from this September.

At the school she will receive intensive daily dance training alongside her secondary school education.

Earlier this year, Emily was also awarded the Nancy Robinson Cup for Musicality at the annual ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet Senior Awards.

Despite being one of the youngest in her section, Emily beat off competition from hundreds of entrants from across the UK and the world ­— many of whom were four years her senior.

The Teixeira family are further celebrating the success of Emily's brother, 13-year-old Denis, who has been awarded a place at the world-renowned Royal Ballet School.

Denis, who is a former pupil of the Janet Lomas School of Dancing, and has been training full time at the Elmhurst Ballet School for the last two years, will start in September at White Lodge in Richmond Park, London, in Year 9.

Two more students from the Janet Lomas School of Dancing celebrating success are Shanti Deen-Ellis and Sophie Leong, who have been awarded places as associates of Northern Ballet in Leeds.

Shanti and Sophie, both aged 11, will continue to train at the Janet Lomas School of Dancing while attending weekly classes in Leeds.

Johanna Hadley, ballet teacher at the Janet Lomas School of Dancing, said: “It’s been a tough past few months, not being able to run classes in person, and it’s been so sad to see that since March the students have been unable to take part in annual events, auditions and examinations that they had been working hard towards.

"However, I’m so proud of our students’ perseverance and dedication, and what they have achieved this last year is a testament to their diligence and determination.”

During lockdown the ballet school has continued to run their classes online ­— both for children and their Silver Swans lessons for the over 55s ­— using live streams on Zoom and pre-recorded tuition.

School principal Janet Lomas said: “Running classes online means that students have not had to compromise on their dance training in lockdown and can still receive live feedback from fully-qualified dance teachers.”

Ms Hadley added: “The online dance classes have been helping children from age four to adults up to age 86 through a difficult period of isolation.

"They have been able to see their friends, and it’s given them a feeling of belonging and normality in a situation that is anything but normal.”