Ballet brothers set sights on stardom

Twins Haydn Astbury (R) and Sam Astbury (L), aged 11, have both been accepted to prestigious ballet schools.
Twins Haydn Astbury (R) and Sam Astbury (L), aged 11, have both been accepted to prestigious ballet schools.
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A mum has spoken of her pride after her twin boys were awarded places at prestigious ballet schools.

Sam and Haydn Astbury, 11, have been selected to start at The Royal Ballet School in London and Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham respectively in September.

Mum Sylvia, who runs Sylvia Conway Dance Academy in Cleveleys, said: “There is fierce competition so I am very proud of them.

“There are only 12 places for boys at each school so to have been selected is brilliant for them.

“It’s their first steps on the path to what is hopefully great success in ballet.”

Both boys will be leaving home in September to take up their places at their new schools, which their mum says will take some getting used to.

She said: “Not only for me missing them myself but also for the two boys because they have never been split apart before.

“There will be a lot of pressure on them to maintain their standards because they are assessed at the end of each year but they are looking forward to it.

“We’ll throw them a going away party before they leave so they can say goodbye to all their friends who don’t quite understand.”

The boys will spend their high school years at their respective schools provided they pass their assessments and will have to adapt to a much higher volume of ballet training.

Sylvia added: “At home they only do about four hours a week but at school they will be doing four hours of ballet a day.

“That’s on top of normal lessons like Maths and English so they will be very long days with early starts and late finishes.

“They are looking forward to it though because they love ballet, so they are excited to do it more often.”

The twins’ mother paid credit to their primary school for being so supportive and allowing them time out to go to auditions.

She said: “They go to Stanah Primary School and they have been great with letting them take time out.

“They are both part of the Royal Ballet Junior Associate Programme which they go to once a week so they missed school but they were always very supportive.”